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DUDLEY KNOX LIBRARY 

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL 

MONTEREY CA 93943-5101 



NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL 
Monterey, California 




THESIS 



TERRORISM AND ORGANIZED CRIME: 

THE ALLIANCE OF TOMORROW? 

HOW TO COUNTER A POSSIBLE FUTURE THREAT 



by 



Gemot W. Morbach 



June 1998 



Thesis Co-Advisors: 



Maria Jose Rasmussen 
Donald Abenheim 



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title AND SUBTITLE Terrorism and Organized Crime: The Alliance of Tomorrow? 
How to Counter a Possible Future Threat 



author(S) Gemot W. Morbach 



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Naval Postgraduate School 
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11. supplementary notes The views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not reflect the official 
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13. ABSTRACT 

While in the post-Cold War era threats to international security have become less direct and apocalyptic, they 
are today more diffuse and insidious. With the probability of large scale, high intensity conflicts decreasing during the 
1990s, terrorism and transnational organized crime — each in itself — constitute an increasing and serious threat to the 
national security of affected nations. Any alliance of these two criminal phenomena is likely to cause a disproportional 
increase of the overall threat. 

The thesis, while following an analytical/inductive approach, tries to identify the rationale for such alliances. 
Although aims and objectives of terrorists and organized criminal groups are different by nature, alliances of convenience 
have already formed in the past. With globalization apparently working in the favor of terrorists and organized crime, it 
seems to be only a question of time before they begin merging and start working jointly. Since those criminal 
organizations tend to exploit the weaknesses of international cooperation by increasingly operating in the transnational 
sphere, any attempt at a successful counter-strategy has to meet this threat where it originates. Against this background, 
international cooperation of law enforcement agencies becomes increasingly important. — "Internal Security", it seems, 
acquires a transnational dimension. 



14. subject terms Terrorism, Organized Crime, Narcoterrorism, Russian Mafia, Transnational 
Threats, Future Threats, Alliances, International Cooperation 



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TERRORISM AND ORGANIZED CRIME: THE ALLIANCE OF TOMORROW? 
HOW TO COUNTER A POSSIBLE FUTURE THREAT 



Gemot W. Morbach 

Major, German Air Force 

MB. A., The Bundeswehr University Munich, 1985 



Submitted in partial fulfillment of the 
requirements for the degree of 



MASTER OF ARTS IN NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS 



from the 



NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL 
June 1998 



DUDLEY KNOX LIBRARY 
[^Y AL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL 
ABSTRACT MONTEREY CA 93943-5101 



While in the post-Cold War era threats to international security have become less 
direct and apocalyptic, they are today more diffuse and insidious With the probability of 
large scale, high intensity conflicts decreasing during the 1990s, terrorism and 
transnational organized crime — each in itself — constitute an increasing and serious threat 
to the national security of affected nations Any alliance of these two criminal phenomena 
is likely to cause a disproportional increase of the overall threat. 

The thesis, while following an analytical/inductive approach, tries to identify the 
rationale for such alliances. Although aims and objectives of terrorists and organized 
criminal groups are different by nature, alliances of convenience have already formed in 
the past. With globalization apparently working in the favor of terrorists and organized 
crime, it seems to be only a question of time before they begin merging and start working 
jointly. Since those criminal organizations tend to exploit the weaknesses of international 
cooperation by increasingly operating in the transnational sphere, any attempt at a 
successful counter-strategy has to meet this threat where it originates. Against this 
background, international cooperation of law enforcement agencies becomes increasingly 
important — "Internal Security", it seems, acquires a transnational dimension. 



VI 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

I INTRODUCTION 1 

A THE TWO PILLARS OF NON-STATE ORIGINATED THREAT 1 

1. Terrorism 3 

2. Organized Crime 4 

B ABOUT DEFINITIONS 5 

C CHAPTER OUTLINE 7 

n. POSTMODERN TERRORISM 11 

A TERRORISM (1968-1998)— TRENDS, TARGETS & TACTICS 11 

1. Trends in Tactics 11 

2. Trends in Targeting 14 

3. Trends in Lethality 17 

4. Summary 23 

B TERRORISM (1998 AND BEYOND)— FACTORS & TARGETS 24 

1. Factors of Influence 24 

2. Future Targets 28 

C. NEW THREATS 29 

1. Weapons of Mass Destruction 30 

2. Religious Terrorism 32 

3. Cyber-Terrorism 35 

4. Unabomber — The Lone Terrorist 37 

D: CONCLUSION 38 

III. ORGANIZED CRIME— THE RUSSIAN MAFIA 41 

A A BRIEF HISTORY OF RUSSIAN ORGANIZED CRIME 41 

1. The Chameleon Syndrome in Theory 42 



vn 



2. The Chameleon Syndrome and Russian Reality 44 

a. From Tsarist to Soviet Russia 44 

b. Communists and Criminals 45 

3. Summary 50 

B. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS 51 

1 . Organized Crime — A Form of Post-Soviet Authoritarianism 51 

2. Economic Aspects 55 

3. Summary 58 

C.MAJOR RUSSIAN MAFIA GANGS 58 

1 . Structure and Characteristics of Russian Mafia Gangs 59 

2. Major Gangs in Moscow 61 

3. Major Gangs in St. Petersburg 64 

4. Major Gangs in Yekaterinburg 65 

5. Major Gangs in Vladivostok 65 

6. Summary 66 

D. RUSSIAN MAFIA ACTIVITY ABROAD 67 

1. Activity in European Countries 67 

a. Austria 67 

b. Belgium 68 

c. Cyprus 68 

d. Czech Republic 68 

e. Germany 69 

f. Hungary 69 

g. Italy 70 

h. Netherlands 70 

i. Poland 70 

k. Sweden 71 

2. Activity in the United States 71 

3. Summary 73 

E THE NUCLEAR DIMENSION 74 

1. Basic Concerns 74 

2. Recent Trends 78 



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3. TheNordex Corporation 87 

4. Summary 89 

F. CONCLUSION 89 

IV ALLIANCES AND COUNTER-STRATEGIES 93 

A. EXCURSUS: NARCOTERRORISM 93 

1. The Colombian Connection 94 

a. Brief Historical Background of Colombia's Guerrilla 
Movement 94 

b . Private Counter-Insurgency — The Death Squads 98 

c. The Colombian Narco-Guerrilla Connection 101 

2. Peruvian Narcoterrorism 107 

3. The Lebanese Connection 109 

4. Implications Ill 

B FUTURE ALLIANCES 112 

1. Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism 113 

2. A Decision Making Model 115 

3. About Alliances 119 

a. Supply-Demand Relationships 120 

b. Dominant Partner Relationships 121 

c. Congruence ofMotivation 122 

d. Temporary vs. Long-Term Alliances 122 

e. Summary 123 

4. Conclusions 124 

C. COUNTER STRATEGIES 125 

1 . National Efforts — Towards an Integrated Approach 126 

a. Basic Concerns 126 

b. Recommendations 127 

2. International Cooperation 129 

a. Rationale for Cooperation 129 

b. Factors Hampering Cooperation 130 

c. Factors Enhancing Cooperation 132 



IX 



d. Recommendations 133 

V. CONCLUSIONS 135 

A. MAJOR FINDINGS 135 

1. The Terrorists 135 

2. The Criminals 136 

3. The Narcoterrorists 138 

4. The Alliances 138 

5. The Counter-Strategies 140 

6. The Outlook 142 

B FUTURE RESEARCH 142 

LIST OF REFERENCES 145 

INITIAL DISTRIBUTION LIST 151 



LIST OF FIGURES 

Figure 2- 1 Per Cent of Total Terrorist Incidents by Tactic and Decade 12 

Figure 2-2 Per Cent of International Terrorist Incidents by Type of Event, 

1991-96 13 

Figure 2-3 Arithmetical Mean of International Terrorist Incidents by Type 

of Event, 1991-96 14 

Figure 2-4 Per Cent of Total Terrorist Incidents by Target and Decade 15 

Figure 2-5 Per Cent of International Terrorist Incidents by Type of 

Targeted Victim, 1991-96 16 

Figure 2-6 Arithmetical Mean of International Terrorist Incidents by 

Type of Targeted Victim, 1991-96 16 

Figure 2-7 Number of Incidents and Casualties of International Terrorism 

per Decade 17 

Figure 2-8 Number of Incidents and Casualties of International Terrorism, 

1991-96 20 

Figure 2-9 Fatalities of International Terrorism, 1991-96 21 

Figure 2-10 Casualties caused by International and Domestic Terrorism 

Worldwide 23 

Figure 3-1-1 Structure of Russian Mafia Gangs -I- 60 

Figure 3-1-2 Structure of Russian Mafia Gangs -II- 61 

Figure 3-2 Reported Russian-Emigre Criminal Activities, 1 99 1-95 72 

Figure 3-3 Trafficking Pathway for Nuclear Materials 77 

Figure 4-1 Victims of Death Squad Massacres, 1986-1991 100 

Figure 4-2 Armed Violence in Colombia, 1988-1991 104 

Figure 4-3 Decision Making Process 117 



XI 



Xll 



LIST OF TABLES 

Table 3-1 The Chameleon Syndrome 43 

Table 3-2 The Relationship Between Legitimate Structures and Organized Crime 

in Russia 50 

Table 3-3 Soviet Authoritarianism vs. Authoritarianism of Post-Soviet Organized 

Crime 53 

Table 3-4 Major Gangs in Moscow 63 

Table 3-5 Major Gangs in St. Petersburg 64 

Table 3-6 Major Gangs in Yekaterinburg 65 

Table 3-7 Major Gangs in Vladivostok 66 

Table 3-8 Submarine Fuel Theft in Russia since 1993 79 

Table 3-9 Important Seizures of Near-Weapons Grade Materials in Russia 

and Central Europe, 1992-94 82 

Table 3-10 Seizures of Nuclear Materials, 1995-96 84 

Table 4-1 Colombian Guerrilla Groups 96 

Table 4-2 Guerrilla Membership in Colombia, 1978-1996 98 

Table 4-3 Assassinations Among Levels of Government 100 

Table 4-4 Guerrilla Taxes on Colombian Cocaine and Heroin Industry, 

1994-95 105 

Table 4-5 Guerrilla Financing, 1994 105 

Table 4-6 Victims of Political Violence in Peru, 1990-92 108 



xni 



XIV 



LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS/ACRONYMS 

ADM-1 9 Action Democrdtica M-19 (Democratic Action M- 1 9) 

BND Bundesnachrichtendienst, Germany's Intelligence Agency 

BPA Bundespresseamt, Germany's Federal Press Information Service 

BTX Type-A Botulinal Toxin 

CB Chemical and Biological 

CIA Central Intelligence Agency 

CIS Commonwealth of Independent States 

CSIA Center for Science and International Affairs 

CSIS Center for Strategic and International Studies 

DEA Drug Enforcement Administration 

DOS Department of State 

DPA Deutsche Presseagentur (German Press Agency) 

DSB Defense Science Board 

ELN Ejercito de Liberation National (National Liberation Army) 

ELP Ejercito Popular de Liberation (Popular Liberation Army) 

FARC Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary 

Armed Forces of Colombia) 

FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation 

FEI Obninsk Institute of Physics and Power Engineering 

FinCEN Financial Crimes Enforcement Network 

FRG Federal Republic of Germany 

FSB Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti, KGB's Successor 

Organization (Russia's Intelligence Agency) 

FSU Former Soviet Union 

GDR German Democratic Republic 

GNP Gross National Product 



xv 



HEU Highly Enriched Uranium 

BEWS Institute for EastWest Studies 

IRA Irish Republican Army 

KGB Intelligence Agency of the FSU 

LE Law Enforcement 

LTTE Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam 

MTNATOM Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy 

MOD Ministry of Defense 

MRTA Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement 

MVD Russia's Ministry of Interior 

M-19 Movimiento 19 de A bril ( 1 9 th of April Movement) 

NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization 

NSC National Security Council 

NYT New York Times 

OC Organized Crime 

PERA Provisional IRA 

PKK Kurdish Worker's Party 

RCB Russian Central Bank 

ROC Russian Organized Crime 

T Terrorism 

UK United Kingdom 

UN United Nations 

UP Union Patriotica (Patriotic Union, Political Front of FARC) 

U.S. United States of America 

U-XXX Uranium-XXX 

WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction 

WTC World Trade Center 



xvi 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

Since the end of the Cold War, threats to international security have become less 
direct and apocalyptic. Today they are more diffuse and insidious. The international 
community through the remainder of the 1 990s and into the next millennium thus faces a 
set of challenges that is as complex as it is novel. 

On January 27, 1998, in his "State of the Union Address", President Clinton 
identified "terrorists, international criminals and drug traffickers" as an "unholy axis of 
new threats". 

Whereas the threats are not completely new, their potential has significantly 
increased in recent years. Terrorism and organized crime are the two pillars of these non- 
state originated threats. 

Religious fanaticism, ethnic-nationalist conflicts, political ideologies, widespread 
poverty, unemployment, and social alienation are factors that have always propelled 
individuals and groups into terrorist campaigns. 

The dimensions of contemporary, global organized crime present a greater 
international security challenge than anything Western democracies have had to cope with 
since the Cold War. Worldwide alliances are being forged in every criminal field from 
money laundering and currency counterfeiting to trafficking in drugs and nuclear materials. 

Acting increasingly on a transnational level, these criminal actors have three 
significant advantages. First, they respect no boundaries, whether political, organizational, 
legal, or moral. Secondly, they cannot easily be deterred, since they have no homeland and 
thus constitute no discrete target. Finally, they can have ready access to weapons of mass 
destruction. 

While as such, either of these criminal phenomena already constitutes a significant 
threat by itself, any alliance between organized crime and terrorism is likely to 
disproportionately increase the overall threat to the national security of affected nations. 

In order to explain the rationale for such alliances, this thesis will try to answer the 
following questions: 



xvii 



•What are the characteristics and means of "Postmodern Terrorism" and 

contemporary "Organized Crime"? 
•What kind of threats are lying ahead? Have there been examples of cooperation 

between terrorism and organized crime in the past? 
•Is a future alliance between terrorism and organized crime likely? 
•What are the salient elements and implications of such alliances? 
•Which are appropriate counter-strategies to meet such transnational threats? 

Terrorists, organized crime, fanatical single issue groups, and even individuals are 
able to muster know-how and resources that were once limited to world and regional 
powers. The appearance of new types of terrorists from the margins makes targeting and 
preemptive measures for law enforcement agencies even more difficult. Technology has 
proven to be a double-edged sword. The information systems used by advanced societies 
and their vulnerabilities offer a new battlefield which is likely to be exploited by terrorists 
and organized crime. In consequence, nowadays' societies have to face the evolved, 
traditional terrorist together with the new breed described above, as they have to face old, 
traditional technologies together with the whole spectrum of WMD. 

Since Russian organized crime had been contained in the power structure of the 
Soviet Union, particular attention was paid to its development in the post-Cold War era. 
The discussion of the phenomenon of organized crime will thus focus on the rise of the 
Russian mafia, and its increasingly transnational dimension. 

Today, an estimated 110 Russian mafia gangs operate in more than 44 countries 
worldwide. Several organizations are already cooperating with other mafia groups such as 
the Yakuza, the Colombian Cartels, or the Italian Mafia. As criminal organizations and 
gangster bureaucrats position themselves to increase their political power and wealth, their 
criminal activities are likely to further extend internationally. 

Since 1991 Europe and the U.S. have already witnessed a significant increase in 
Russian organized crime. What is striking about the Russian organizations is that they 



xvni 



appear to be willing to make deals with everyone. In this context, the exploitation of 
Russia's military-industrial complex adds new vistas to an already significant threat. 

As the example of narcoterrorism shows, the existence of different long term 
objectives did not exclude short or mid term alliances as long as they served the common 
goal of saturating law enforcement agencies. Thus, evidence exists that under specific 
circumstances organized crime and terrorists may seek alliances which otherwise seem 
unlikely. 

Despite a fundamental difference between the means and ends of criminal and 
terrorist organizations, there are factors which suggest a growing, and perhaps 
irreversible, trend towards convergence. First, transnational criminal organizations are 
increasingly resorting to terror tactics. Second, transnational criminal organizations seem 
willing to develop direct links with groups that use indiscriminate violence for otherwise 
political ends. A third element influencing the convergence between terrorism and 
transnational organized crime is the changed security context. In the post-cold war era, 
international terrorism has lost a significant amount of sponsorship. While state-sponsored 
terrorism still exists, it has become less important. As terrorist organizations find that 
government financial support is in decline, they seem likely to turn to organized crime as 
an alternative source of funds. 

While the motives of terrorist groups and transnational criminal organizations may 
differ, the strategies they adopt to achieve their objectives seem to converge. Linkages and 
alliances of convenience between them are likely to saturate law enforcement agencies. 

Organized crime, at least for the predictable future, is likely to remain the most 
powerful non-state actor. Globalization, it seems, works predominantly in its favor. An 
alliance with terrorist organizations would only be the logical consequence of an already 
established behavioral pattern. Together with technology and weapons — including 
WMD — this kind of evolution could even lead to a quasi-equilibrium with the legitimate 
structures. 



xix 



As organized crime has long since crossed national borders and is increasingly 
becoming a transnational phenomenon, any response to it, if it is to be effective, should be 
transnational as well. Criminal organizations in the past have proven to be not only highly 
sophisticated, but also extremely adaptable in their efforts to exploit the existing gaps in 
the patterns of cooperation. Against this background, the international cooperation that 
has already developed needs to be intensified. 

Any kind of cooperation and counter-strategy ultimately will depend upon the will 
of governments to allocate both human and financial resources to the efforts to control 
and prevent transnational organized crime. Considering the grave threat transnational 
organized crime poses to world security, the international community must begin to 
develop procedural and operational mechanisms to combat the problem on an adequate 
scale. Transnational threats can only be met with a transnational response. The internal 
security of an affected nation no longer ends where the sovereignty of this very nation 
starts. 

In summary, it is the strong believe of this author that the emergence of alliances 
between organized crime and terrorists is no longer a question of //it's going to happen. It 
is merely a question of when it will happen. For law enforcement agencies the conclusion 
should be that preemptive search patterns and investigations should consider the 
possibility of linkages between these criminal organizations. Combating this threat will 
require operational, organizational, and legislative measures, as well as the will of the 
respective decision makers to treat this threat for what it is -a transnational challenge to 
the security of the free world. 



xx 



I. INTRODUCTION 

"Terrorism, drugs, organized crime, and proliferation of weapons of mass 
destruction are global concerns that transcend national boundaries and undermine 
economic stability and political stability in many countries. " 

President William J. Clinton 1 



A. THE TWO PILLARS OF NON-STATE ORIGINATED THREAT 

Since the end of the Cold War, threats to international security have become less 
direct and apocalyptic. Today they are more diffuse and insidious. The international 
community through the remainder of the 1990s and into the next millennium thus faces a 
set of challenges that is as complex as it is novel. With the probability of large scale, high 
intensity conflicts decreasing, terrorism and transnational organized crime constitute the 
most serious of these threats. 

On January 27, 1998, in his "State of the Union Address", President Clinton 
identified "terrorists, international criminals and drug traffickers" as an "unholy axis of 
new threats". 

Whereas these threats are not completely new, their potential has increased in 
recent years. While in the post Cold War era high intensity conflicts have become less 
likely, Western democracies nowadays are facing a variety of threats which are more 
complex, and hence harder to counter. Terrorism and organized crime are the two pillars 
of these non-state originated threats. 

The dimensions of contemporary, global organized crime present a greater 
international security challenge than anything Western democracies have had to cope with 
since the Cold War. Worldwide alliances are being forged in every criminal field from 
money laundering and currency counterfeiting to trafficking in drugs and nuclear materials. 



1 Quoted in: The Defense Science Board 1997 Summer Study Task Force, POD Responses to 
Transnational Threats: Volume I — Final Report, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense For 
Acquisition & Technology, Washington DC, October 1997, pi. 



What makes these forms of behavior disquieting is that they allow criminal organizations 
to accumulate a degree of power and wealth that rivals and in some cases surpasses that 
possessed by governments. Some criminal organizations have the ability to move hundreds 
of billions of dollars in and out of legitimate financial systems. In Colombia, for example, a 
few years ago several members of the Medellin cartel reportedly offered to pay off the 
Colombian national debt, if only their government would promise to ignore its extradition 
treaty with the United States. In Russia, organized crime groups have a choke hold on the 
country's vast resources, and they control most of the banks and the media. Today, global 
organized crime is the world's fastest growing business. Its sole aim is profit, unhampered 
by moral and ethical considerations. 

Religious fanaticism, ethnic-nationalist conflicts, political ideologies, widespread 
poverty, unemployment, and social alienation are factors that have always propelled 
individuals and groups into terrorist campaigns. 

Acting increasingly on a transnational level, these criminal actors have three 
significant advantages. First, they respect no boundaries, whether political, organizational, 
legal, or moral. Secondly, they cannot easily be deterred, since they have no homeland and 
thus constitute no discrete target. Finally, they can have ready access to weapons of mass 
destruction. 

While as such, either of these criminal phenomena already constitutes a significant 
threat by itself, any alliance between organized crime and terrorism is likely to 
disproportionately increase the overall threat to the national security of affected nations. In 
fact, an amalgamation of above mentioned threats, together with the ability to obtain 
nearly every (weapons-) technology available makes worst case scenarios, which in the 
past were beyond imagination, more and more realistic. 

In order to explain the rationale for such alliances, this thesis will try to answer the 
following questions: Is a future alliance between terrorism and organized crime likely? 
What kind of threats are lying ahead? What are the characteristics and means of 
"Postmodern Terrorism" and contemporary "Organized Crime"? Have there been 



examples of cooperation between terrorism and organized crime in the past? What are the 
salient elements and implications of such alliances? Which are appropriate counter- 
strategies to meet such transnational threats? 

First, however, the two pillars of non-state originated threat have to be briefly 
introduced 

1. Terrorism 

While the face and origins of terrorism have changed over time, for a long period 
its essential aims and techniques seemed not to have changed at all. 'Kill one - frighten 
thousand', a phrase used by Sun Tzu over 2,500 years ago still describes the essence of 
terrorism as a technique of intimidation that has been used by governments to discipline 
their people and by sub-national groups to weaken and to overturn established authority. 
Terrorism is a technique used by a large variety of groups, by authoritarian governments 
and by their death squads, as well as by dissidents and by political activists of the left and 
the right, by guerrillas and freedom fighters, as well as by nationalists, by ethnic and 
religious groups, as well as by mafia-style and drug trafficking organizations. 
(Clutterbuck, 1994, pp.3-5) 

Given that intimidation is the main purpose of terrorism, terrorism can be defined 
as "The purposeful act or the threat of the act of violence to create fear and/or compliant 
behavior in a victim and/or audience of threat" (Stohl, 1990, p. 83). Since the target of 
violence (victim) more often than not is not identical with the target of influence (the 
actual target), the act of violence can best be described as symbolic. As far as the audience 
is concerned, 'terror' is experienced because the act violates the normative values of the 
target entity in terms of the employment of (lethal) force, which is considered to be a 
monopoly of the state. Since the normative and ethical values of mankind inhibit, restrict, 
or channel the employment of (lethal) force, the more horrifying the terrorist act, the 
greater the psychological impact upon target and audience (Hanle, 1989, p. 105). Thus, 
unfortunately, there is a direct relationship between lethality and attention. The motivation 
behind the act of terrorism itself can be political, social, ethnic, religious, psychotic, or 



merely criminal. While in the past foreign governments have frequently sponsored terrorist 
activities, or have acted through clandestine state agents, terrorism itself, in the context of 
this thesis, is considered to be conducted by a non-state group. 

The variety of threats posed by terrorism include those related to the safety and 
welfare of ordinary people, the stability of political and economic systems, the health and 
pace of economic development, and the expansion of democracy. 

Technological, scientific, cultural and social changes continually influence the 
capabilities of nation states in terms of warfare. These developments also impact the 
behavior and capabilities of terrorists. Given the evolution in information technology and 
the available 'information-highways', today's terrorists have nearly the same access to 
technology as government agencies and legitimate corporations. Consequently, they are 
likely to be better organized, more professional, and better equipped than their 
counterparts in the past. 

2. Organized Crime 

With the probability of large scale, high intensity conflicts decreasing during the 
1990s, transnational organized crime received increased scrutiny from intelligence 
agencies and academic researchers. Whether one calls these organizations 'Mafia', 'Cosa 
Nostra', and 'Camorra' in Italy, 'Triads' in China, 'Yakuza' in Japan, or 'Cartels' in 
Colombia, they all have in common that they pose a considerable security threat. Since 
Russian organized crime had been contained in the power structure of the Soviet Union, 
particular attention was paid to its development in the post-Cold War era. Assessments of 
the seriousness of the security challenge posed by Russian organized crime diverge 
remarkably. At one end of the spectrum, certain authors view the Russian mafia as a 
dangerous successor to the threat posed to Western societies by the Soviet Union. At the 
other end of the spectrum, observers believe that the threat is greatly exaggerated, and 
that Russian organized crime even has certain positive functions in Russia's society and 
economy. (Williams, 1997, p.l; 1996, pp. 13-19) 



Claire Sterling, who belongs to the more pessimistic end of the spectrum, describes 

the Russian mafia 

. . as union of racketeers without equal. Unlike the mafia in Sicily, which it 
admires and copies as a standard of excellence, it has no home seat or 
central command. There are no ancestral memories or common bloodlines. 
Nevertheless, its proliferating clans are invading every sphere of life, 
usurping political power, taking over state enterprises and fleecing natural 
resources They are engaged in extortion, theft, forgery, armed assault, 
contract killing, swindling, drug running, arms smuggling, prostitution, 
gambling, loan sharking, embezzling, money laundering and black 
marketing -all on a monumental and increasingly international scale. 
(Sterling, 1994, p. 19) 

Against this background, the discussion of the phenomenon of organized crime 
will focus on the rise of the Russian mafia, and its increasingly transnational dimension. 

B. ABOUT DEFINITIONS 

The purpose of any definition is to clarify, to describe, or simply to state what a 
specific "something" is about and/or what it is not. Thus, any definition at the same time 
offers opportunities for discussion. Any such discussion, in turn, could potentially lead to a 
new approach to the same subject or, in another conceivable case, to a new definition. 
Terrorism, for instance, is by nature difficult to define. Acts of terrorism conjure up 
emotional responses by victims and practitioners. Thus, the old myth that "One man's 
terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" still seems to be alive. Consequently, no one 
definition of terrorism has gained universal acceptance, and even the U.S. government 
cannot agree on a single one. 

The following definitions of the most important terms used in this thesis do not 
claim to be the only possible or even the best. They simply help to set the stage for the 
following discussion. 

•Terrorism is defined as 'The purposeful act or the threat of the act of violence to 
create fear and/or compliant behavior in a victim and/or audience of threat' 
(Stohl, 1990, p. 83). 



• International Terrorism means 'Terrorism involving citizens or the territory 
of more than one country'. 2 

• Organized Crime is defined as 'A conglomerate of persons associated for the 
purpose of engaging in criminal activity on a more or less sustained basis 
following an organizational pattern that is characterized by a hierarchical 
structure, a clear division of labor, a strict discipline operating vertically and 
based on prescribed norms and laws, and strict punishment which can include 
the elimination of apostates.' 3 

• Transnational is defined as 'Movement of information, money, physical 
objects, people, or other intangible items across state boundaries. ' 

• Transnational Threat is defined as any transnational activity that threatens the 
national security of a nation and/or the international security — including 
international terrorism, narcotics trafficking, the proliferation of weapons of 
mass destruction and the delivery systems for such weapons, and organized 
crime — and/or any individual or group that engages in any such activity. 4 

• Russian Organized Crime and Russian Mafia will be used as synonyms, 
describing the various criminal groups whose members come from and/or have 
ties to the former Soviet Union (FSU). 



• 



Non-State Group is defined as an autonomous organization without any 
formal, overt connection to state government. It can be 'transnational', i.e., 
members may not see themselves as citizens of any country, but instead enjoin 
with those who manifest religious, ethnic, political, environmental, economic or 
other objectives that transcend nation-state boundaries; and it may be 
recognized as a legitimate organization (Campbell, 1996, p. 16). 

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) are defined as weapons that include 
nuclear explosives or radiological contaminants; lethal chemicals, or lethal 
biological agents (toxins or pathogens) (Cambpell, 1996, p. 15). 



2 Definition in accordance with Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f(d). 

3 For the definitions of 'Organized Crime' and 'Transnational', I draw on various sources, among others 
Williams, Rawlinson, and Finckenauer. 

4 The definition of 'Transnational Threat' is based on that provided by the DOD's Defense Science 
Board 1997 Summer Study Task Force. 



• For the purpose of this thesis, and taking into consideration the partially 
dialectical use of both terms in the literature, the terms "guerrilla" and 
"terrorist" will be used as synonyms. 

C. CHAPTER OUTLINE 

The following provides a brief overview of the organization of the chapters of this 
thesis. 

Chapter II, by following an analytical/inductive approach, will identify trends of 
terrorist activities in the past, and provide an outlook for the kind of terrorism that is likely 
to lie ahead. In the attempt to predict future developments in the sphere of terrorism, the 
analysis of recent trends will focus on three aspects. First, the tactics and weapons used 
throughout the past decades, second the targeted victims, and finally the lethality of the 
terrorist acts. Additionally, the chapter will answer the question whether terrorism has 
changed, and which kind of terrorism societies are likely to face in the years lying ahead. 
Chapter II thus addresses the perspective of "Postmodern Terrorism". 

Chapter in introduces the salient features of contemporary organized crime. 
Without intending to create a single devil's theory of cause, this chapter will focus on the 
rise of Russian organized crime and its increasingly transnational dimension. Since any 
attempt to seriously discuss this phenomenon has to focus on its evolution, the first 
subsection will provide a brief historical background. Following Patricia Rawlinson's 
model, called "The Chameleon Syndrome", and with the advantage of hindsight, the 
chapter will argue that the evolution of Russian organized crime seemingly was inevitable. 
The second subsection describes economic and political aspects of organized crime in 
Russia. Subsequently, the major mafia gangs and the activities of Russian organized crime 
throughout Europe and the United States will be introduced. Finally, this chapter will 
address the problem of nuclear trafficking. Since this aspect provides insight into the 
potential threat of arms, technology and WMD proliferation, its discussion will be more 
thorough. The example of a former KGB front company will additionally provide evidence 



for the amalgamation between elements of the old Soviet power structure and 
contemporary criminal entrepreneurs. 

Chapter IV focuses on possible future alliances and counter-strategies. Any 
serious attempt to identify possible alliances between organized crime and terrorist groups 
has to consider the narco-guerrilla connection in South America's Andean region. Thus, 
the first subsection describes and analyzes the phenomenon of Colombian/Peruvian 
narcoterrorism. While in both Latin American countries the narco-guerrilla connection 
constitutes a predominantly domestic security threat, the Colombian-Lebanese 
connection, which is subsequently introduced, suggests the existence of narco-terrorist 
cooperation on a transnational level. 

The chapter discusses the salient elements of these different forms of collaboration 
between organized criminal groups and terrorist organizations, and introduces a 
"decision-making model" that can be used to identify processes which may lead to similar 
future alliances. 

In the final section of Chapter IV appropriate counter-strategies for affected 
countries and their respective law enforcement agencies are introduced. Whereas 
contemporary transnational criminal organizations are operating in what for them is a 
borderless world, law enforcement, in contrast, remains constrained by having to operate 
in what is still a world with frontiers. While criminals, terrorists, weapons, and 'hot 
money' enjoy unprecedented mobility and are able to find cover and recruits in 
transnational ethnic networks created by migration, law enforcement efforts often find 
frontiers where cooperation is limited or not regulated. Thus, the final section focuses on 
the two elements which should be the pillars of any strategy that attempts to successfully 
counter the challenge of transnational crime. National law enforcement efforts constitute 
the first element. The emphasis, however, lies on the second element that moves from the 
domestic realm into that of international cooperation Internal security, it seems, is no 
longer a mere domestic issue, can no longer be achieved with national efforts alone, but 
demands a transnational approach. Thus, the final subsection of Chapter IV underlines the 



necessity of inter-state cooperation and argues for a transnational approach to a 
transnational problem. 

Chapter V presents the conclusions of the research and answers the key questions 
of this thesis. In addition to the summary of the findings it will briefly introduce future 
research topics. 



10 



H. POSTMODERN TERRORISM 

"He related to us that during World War II, the Americans had dropped the 
atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 250,000 civilians, and he 
said that the Americans would realize if they suffered those types of casualties that they 
were at war. " 

Secret Service Agent Brian Parr recounting Ramzi Ahmed Yousers admission to the World 
Trade Center Bombing 5 

Any attempt to predict future developments in the realm of terrorism has to start 
with an empirical analysis of operations. This chapter looks first for trends in the past, 
describes whether terrorism has followed any identifiable patterns, whether it has changed, 
and which kind of terrorism societies are likely to face in the years lying ahead. It thus 
addresses the perspective of "Postmodern Terrorism". 

A. TERRORISM (1968-1998)— TRENDS, TARGETS AND TACTICS 

In the attempt to predict future developments in the sphere of terrorism, the 
following analysis of recent trends will focus on three aspects. First, the tactics and 
weapons used throughout the past decades, second the targeted victims, and finally the 
lethality of the terrorist acts. While overall a mixed picture of change and continuity can be 
identified, the most salient features of these trends were the increase in fatalities, and more 
recently the first use of WMD in a major terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway system. 

1. Trends in Tactics 

Figure 2-1 below shows the development of tactics over the past three decades. 
Although, as it will later be shown, terrorism has become more lethal, the killings were 
conducted without the terrorists having to resort to unconventional weaponry. 



5 Quoted in: The Defense Science Board 1997 Summer Study Task Force, POD Responses to 
Transnational Threats: Volume I — Final Report , Office of the Under Secretary of Defense For 
Acquisition & Technology, Washington DC, October 1997, p. 11. 



11 



% 60 




O 1960s 
■ 1970s 
D 1980s 



BOMBING 



ATTACK 



SHOOTING HIJACKJHOST. 



OTHER 



Figure 2—1. — Per Cent of Total Terrorist Incidents by Tactic and Decade 

Source: Bruce Hoffman, "Terrorist Targeting: Tactics, Trends, and Potentialities", Terrorism and Political 
Violence, vol. 5, no. 2, 1993, pp.13; 25. 

Bombs provide for dramatic effects, and offer 'more bang for the buck'. They are 
fairly easy to produce, the necessary technology and ingredients are readily available, and 
the purchase of the ingredients does not arise suspicion and is thus hard to track. In 
addition, meager skills are required to manufacture a crude bomb, plant it, and be miles 
away when it explodes. Bombing, therefore, does not require the same organizational 
expertise, knowledge, back-up options, or logistical support required by more 
complicated or sophisticated operations such as assassination, kidnapping, hostage-taking 
or attacks against defended targets. (Hoffinan, 1993, 5:2, p. 13) 

Against this background, it is not surprising to find an inverse relationship between 
the complexity or expertise required, and the frequency of types of terrorist acts (see 
Figure 2-1). Accordingly, attacks on installations is the second most common tactic, 
accounting for approximately 20 percent of all operations, followed by shooting, and 
hijacking/kidnapping. 6 Barricade and hostage situations, together with significant threats 



6 Including: attacks with hand grenades, bazookas, rocket-propelled grenades; drive-by shootings; 
arson; vandalism; and sabotage other than bombing. 



12 



account for the remaining 'other' incidents. The fact that the percentages remained 
relatively unchanged over three decades provides evidence that the majority of terrorist 
organizations have not been tactically innovative. According to Bruce Hoffman, 
innovation occurred, if at all, mostly in the methods to conceal and detonate explosive 
devices, but not in tactics, and, at least until the end of this period, not as far the use of 
unconventional weapons was concerned (Hoffman, 1993, 5:2, p. 12). Whether WMD were 
never used is questionable, since analysts believe that there might have been attacks in 
which biological, or chemical agents were used, which went undetected for various 
reasons (Kaplan, 1997, p.31). 

One must ascertain whether the trend detected in the period between 1968 and 
1989 can be found in the nineties as well. As Figure 2-2 below shows bombing remained 
the favorite terrorist tactic throughout the 1990s, accounting for roughly 60 percent of 
incidents throughout the period, followed, as in the previous decades, by attack, 
hijacking/hostage/kidnapping, arson, and other terrorist tactics. The different typology of 
terrorist incidents is the result of the use of a different source of statistics. For the purpose 
of identifying a trend in terrorist behavior, however, this can be neglected. 



% 80-rl 




D1991 


■ 1992 


□ 1993 


■ 1994 


□ 1995 


□ 1996 



BOMBING 



ATTACK 



ARSON 



HIJJHOSTJKID. 



OTHER 



Figure 2-2. — Per Cent of International Terrorist Incidents by 
Type of Event, 1991-96 

Source: United States Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism , 1991-1996. 



13 



Figure 2-3 below gives an overall picture of the trend in the period 1991-1996 and 
is based on the same statistical data, showing now, however, the arithmetical mean of the 
respective percentages. 



18,3 




□ BOMBING 

■ ATTACK 

□ HIJJHOSTJKID. 

□ ARSON 

■ OTHER 



61,9 

Figure 2-3. — Arithmetical Mean of International Terrorist Incidents by 
Type of Event, 1991-96 

Source: United States Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism , 1991-1996 

Thus, in the last decade, terrorists continued to rely on the same tactics. Although 
radical in their demands and politics, they were rather conservative in their actions. The 
next subsection will look for similar trends in terrorist targeting. 

2. Trends in Targeting 

In their attempt to call attention to terrorist groups and their cause, terrorist 
attacks in the past tended to be directed against objects rather than people. Since terrorist 
operations are 'symbolic' in character, they are directed against 'symbols' of the 
adversary, such as embassies, government agencies, diplomats, businesses, airlines 
(symbolic by dint of their national identification), and the military (Hoffman, 1993, 5:2, 
p. 14). The latter, more than other organizations and agencies, represents the monopoly of 
power of the state which itself is questioned and contested by the terrorist. 

As Figure 2-4 below shows, diplomatic targets have been the focus of most 
terrorist attacks throughout the period 1968-1989, followed by business, airline, military 
and civilian targets. Other incidents include attacks on energy, maritime, transportation, 



14 



communication, and other targets, each group in itself, however, being statistically 
insignificant. 




D 1960s 
■ 1970s 
D 1980s 



DIPLOMATIC BUSINESS 



AIRLINE MILITARY CIVILIAN OTHER 



Figure 2-4. — Per Cent of Total Terrorist Incidents by Target and Decade 

Source: Bruce Hoffman, "Terrorist Targeting: Tactics, Trends, and Potentialities", Terrorism and Political 
Violence, vol. 5, no. 2, 1993, pp.14, 25. 

As in the previous subsection, the next step is to check whether the trend detected 
in the period between 1968 and 1989 can be found in the nineties as well. 
Figure 2-5 below therefore focuses on developments in recent years. Whereas the 
statistical data used in Figure 2-4 did not discriminate between targeted facilities and 
targeted victims, the data used in Figure 2-5 relate to the type of targeted victim alone. 
Terrorist acts in this period either consciously tended to inflict more casualties, or resulted 
in a greater amount of collateral damage. This trend towards a more indiscriminate 
targeting accounts for the relatively high increase in the data set 'Other'. Beside this, as far 
as discrete targets are concerned, business targets have been the focus of terrorist attacks 
in the last six years, followed by government, diplomatic and military targets. 



15 



% 80 



70- ' 
60- ' 
50-' 
40- ' 



30- ' 



20-' 





□ 1991 


■ 1992 


D1993 


□ 1994 


■ 1995 


□ 1996 



DIPLOMATIC GOVERNMENT MILITARY 



BUSINESS 



OTHER 



Figure 2-5. — Per Cent of International Terrorist Incidents by Type of 
Targeted Victim, 1991-96 7 

Source: United States Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism , 1991-1996. 

Although the figures indicate a slight change in regard to the trend observed in 
earlier decades, this has to be seen against the background of the complexity of targeting 
more protected assets, and the increase in security awareness of these groups, which itself 
can be regarded as an output of earlier experiences. Figure 2-6 below provides the 
arithmetical mean over the recent period. 




61,8 



□ OTHER 

■ BUSINESS 

□ GOVERNMENT 

□ DIPLOMATIC 

■ MILITARY 



Figure 2-6. — Arithmetical Mean of International Terrorist Incidents 
by Type of Targeted Victim, 1991-96 

Source: United States Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1991-1996. 



7 Includes only those incidents where persons were killed or wounded. 



16 



While the last two figures were exclusively related to the targeted victims of 
terrorist acts, showing the percentage of the total number of incidents in the respective 
time periods, they ignored the lethality of terrorist operations This aspect will be the 
subject of the next subsection. 

3. Trends in Lethality 

During the 1980s, only 20 percent of the terrorist incidents resulted in fatalities. 
However, those operations that did kill, tended to kill more people than before. (Hoffman, 
1993, 5:2, p. 14) 

Reasons to explain this trend are, among others, the already mentioned attraction 
that is caused by lethality, with the media acting as a multiplier; the improved effectiveness 
of terrorist organizations; the resurgence of ethnic and religious terrorism; the fact that 
terrorists themselves are more adept at killing, as societies in toto have become more 
accustomed to violence and atrocity, and the obvious willingness of terrorists to use, if not 
WMD, at least weapons causing massive destruction. Figure 2-7 below shows the total 
number of incidents, casualties, and fatalities caused by International Terrorism in the past 
two decades. 




□ NO.INCIDENTS 
■ NO.CASUALTIES 

□ NO.FATALITIES 



1970s 



1980s 



Figure 2-7. — Number of Incidents, Casualties & Fatalities of International 
Terrorism per Decade 

Source: Peter Chalk, West European Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism. 1996, pp. 173-82. 



17 



The data shown in Figure 2-7 indicate an over-proportional increase of casualties 
and fatalities in the 1980s. Compared to the figures for the 1970s, the number of incidents 
increased by 44 percent, while the number of casualties and fatalities increased by 121 
percent and 106 percent respectively. 

As for the 1980s, it seems that, among other factors, state-sponsored terrorism 
played a significant role in the increase of lethality, being held responsible for the most 
lethal attacks during this period. 

- On October 23, 1983, a large truck, used by state-sponsored terrorists, and laden 
with the equivalent of over 12,000 pounds of TNT, whose destructive power was 
enhanced by canisters of flammable gases, crashed through the perimeter of the 
U.S. contingent of the Multinational Force compound at Beirut International 
Airport, penetrated the Battalion Landing Team headquarters building and 
exploded, destroying the building and killing 241 U.S. Marines. The explosion 
has been described as the 'largest non-nuclear blast ever detonated on the face of 
the earth'. In another blast, which occurred 20 seconds later, and four miles 
away, 58 French paratroopers were killed. (Department of Defense, 1996, p. 3; 
Jaber, 1997, p. 77) 

- On December 22, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103, a Boeing 747 en route from London 
to New York, exploded in mid air over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 
people on board as well as 1 1 citizens of the town. This time the time-triggered 
bomb was remarkably small -less than 300 grams of Semtex, a Czech- 
manufactured plastic explosive— and hidden inside a Toshiba radio cassette 
player. (Emerson/Duffy, 1990) 

According to Hoffman,"... it is not surprising, therefore, to find that state- 
sponsored terrorist incidents are, on average, eight times more lethal than those carried 
out by groups acting on their own. "(Hoffman, 1993, 5:2, p. 18) In the eighties access to 
technology and weapons was often only possible through a sponsor. This situation, 
however, has changed. The opening of the former Warsaw Pact members to free trade 
after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, together with their need for hard currency, has 
left the market of weapons and technology saturated, giving access to nearly everything 
for nearly anybody who is able and willing to pay for it. 



18 



In addition, state-sponsored terrorism has all but disappeared. While terrorists can 
no longer count on the former sponsor states, some Middle Eastern and North African 
countries are still providing support. The difference is that these governments, e.g., Tehran 
and Tripoli, are now less eager to argue that they have a divine right to engage in terrorist 
operations beyond their borders. This is a long term effect of retaliation and economic 
boycotts. (Laqueur, 1996, p. 26) 

On the other hand new sponsors such as Sudan have emerged. Politically isolated 
and facing a disastrous economic situation, the government in Khartoum, backed by 
Muslim leaders, believes that it can get away with lending support to terrorists from many 
nations because nobody wants to become involved in Sudan in the first place. (Laqueur, 
1996, p.26) 

The trend towards more casualties and lethality observed in the 1980s, however, is 
rooted in more than one factor. Contemporary terrorist organizations are not only smarter 
than their predecessors, they also tend to be more ruthless and less idealistic. For some, it 
seems, "...violence becomes an end in itself -a cathartic release, a self-satisfying blow 
struck against the hated 'system'- rather than being regarded as the deliberate means to a 
specific political end embraced by previous generations "(Hoflman, 1993, 5:2, p. 16) 

A key reason for this increase in lethality is the already mentioned resurgence of 
religious and ethnic/nationalist motivated terrorism. The activities of Shi 'a Islamic groups, 
for example, reinforce the causal link between religious motivated terrorism and 
terrorism's growing lethality. According to the RAND Chronology of International 
Terrorism, these groups have committed only eight percent of all international terrorist 
incidents between 1982 and 1989, but were responsible for 30 percent of the total number 
of deaths. (Hoffinan, 1993, 5:2, p. 17) 

Turning now to the more recent situation, Figure 2-8 below shows the relation 
between the number of incidents and casualties for the last six years. 



19 



Number 
7000 

6000 

5000-K 

4000 

3000 



./ 



2000- r 



1000- * 



565 ,317 363^1 *1 





O INCIDENTS 
□ CASUALTIES 



1991 



1992 



1993 



1994 



1995 



1996 



Figure 2-8. — Number of Incidents & Casualties of International Terrorism, 

1991-96 

Source: United States Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism . 1991-1996. 

The development of the number of incidents is characterized by a slight up-and- 
down, with a high in 1991, and a notable decrease in 1996. The figure for 1996 marks a 
25-year low. Moreover, about two-thirds of these incidents were minor acts of politically 
motivated violence against commercial targets. The terrorist campaign waged by the 
Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in Germany, for example, exclusively matched this target 
category, and accounted for 25 percent of all terrorist incidents. (U.S. Department of 
State, 1997, p. 1) 

At the same time, however, the number of casualties has, with the exception of 
1994, followed an upward trend with a significant increase towards the end of the period. 
The high casualty rate in 1995 was caused by the chemical attack on the Tokyo subway 
system that killed 12 people, and injured 17 people critically, 37 people severely , and 984 
moderately. 8 



8 Statistics provided to a team of the US Army Medical Research Institute for Chemical Defense that 
went to Japan shortly after the attack showed a total of 1050 casualties (including the 12 fatalities). 
Additionally, however, 4,973 people reported to medical facilities within the first 24 hrs, but were not 
hospitalized (Woodall, p. 296). 



20 



Since Figure 2-8 focuses on the overall casualties (those injured as well as those 
killed), Figure 2-9 below shows the number of fatalities caused by International Terrorism 
during the same period of time. 




1991 



1992 



1993 



1994 



1995 



1996 



Figure 2-9. — Fatalities of International Terrorism, 1991-96 

Source: United States Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism, 1991-1996. 

Overall, the trend follows the same pattern of development, this time, however, 
with the high in 1994 and again a significant increase in 1996. While in general the number 
of incidents was decreasing in the nineties, the number of fatalities was increasing, making 
statistically the single terrorist act more lethal. 

The following international terrorist acts were the most lethal and spectacular 

during this period. 

-On February 26, 1993 a massive explosion left a 100 x 100-foot opening in the 
underground parking garage of the World Trade Center (WTC), scattered debris 
throughout an adjacent subway station, and filled all 1 10 floors of the north tower 
with smoke. The effects of the blast and the ensuing fire and smoke caused six 
deaths and 1,000 injuries. The massive explosion was meant to let the north 
tower topple into the south tower, and thus cause the whole complex to collapse. 
The terrorists also packed cyanide into the charge, which fortunately evaporated 
in the explosion. (U.S. Department of State, 1994, p.l; Kaplan, 1997, p.31) 

- On July 1 8, 1 994 a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle loaded with explosives in 
front of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires. The powerful bombing killed 



21 



nearly 100 persons, most of them crushed by the collapsing seven-story building, 
and injured more than 200 others. (U.S. Department of State, 1995, p.l 1) 

On March 20, 1995 members of the Japanese cult Aum Shinri Kyo placed 
containers of the deadly chemical nerve agent sarin on five trains of the Tokyo 
subway system during the morning rush hour, releasing poisonous gas into the 
trains and subway stations. Apparently the sarin used was diluted, otherwise the 
numbers of casualties (12 killed, more than 5,000 injured) might have been more 
dramatic. (U.S. Department of State, 1996, p.l) 

On January 31, 1996 terrorists belonging to the separatist Liberation Tigers of 
Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a group known for their predilection for lethality, rammed 
an explosives-laden truck into the Central Bank in downtown Colombo, killing 
some 90 persons and wounding more than 1,400 others. (U.S. Department of 
State, 1997, p. 5) 

On June 25, 1996 a large fuel truck containing explosives detonated outside the 
U.S. military's Khobar Towers housing facility near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 
killing 19 American citizens and wounding some 500 persons. (U.S. Department 
of State, 1997, p.21) 



Although this is a selection of the most lethal and spectacular incidents, they are 
representative of the trend towards increasing lethality that has been identified earlier. In 
addition, it should be recognized that the numbers and incidents presented in the two 
previous figures constitute only a part of worldwide terrorism, neglecting the domestic 
aspect. Thus, in an attempt to complete the picture of the lethality of terrorism and its 
increase in recent years, Figure 2-10 below shows the dimension of the same data sets 
(casualties and fatalities), now, however, additionally taking domestic terrorism into 
account. 



22 




1970-1983 



1990-1993 



Figure 2-10. — Casualties caused by International & Domestic 
Terrorism Worldwide 

Source: Peter Chalk, West European Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism , 1996, pp. 173-82. 

Comparing both periods, it should be emphasized that the first period encompasses 
14 years, whereas the second consists only of four years. While in the first period on 
annual average 2,008 people were killed, the average for the second period was 9,125 
deaths per year, -an increase of 454 percent. The data is both self-explanatory and 
depressing at the same time. 

The trend towards more lethality has further increased in the years after 1993. In 
Algeria alone for example, the number of people that have been killed since the insurgency 
began in 1992 is, depending on the source, estimated to range between 45,000 and 
75,000. 

4. Summary 

While terrorism over the previous decades has become more lethal, it generally 
seems to follow established patterns of tactics and targeting. For reasons already laid out, 
bombing remains a favorite terrorist tactic. As for targeting, government, diplomatic and 
military installations, and their respective personnel, remain favorite discrete terrorist 



23 



targets for reasons stated already as well. Additionally, the identified shift towards a more 
indiscriminate terrorist targeting in the nineties matches and of course supports the trend 
towards more lethality. 

Although, terrorism in the past followed a more or less conventional pattern, the 
first use of a chemical weapon in a major terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway system 
marks a turning point in terrorist behavior. With this threshold having been passed, the 
future use of WMD can no longer be ruled out. 

The following sections will develop a perspective of the kind of terrorism that is 
likely in the future. 

B. TERRORISM (1998 AND BEYOND)— FACTORS AND TARGETS 

This section discusses the factors of influence and likely targets of future terrorist 
operations and campaigns. While the analysis does not claim to be complete, it tries to 
focus on the most important factors and most likely targets. 

1. Factors of Influence 

As it has been in the past, future terrorist operations will be influenced by a great 
variety of different factors, which, more often than not, influence each other in a complex 
way. 

The following discussion of influencing factors is based on the assumption that the 
various terrorist organizations with their different motivations, and pursuing their various 
aims, already exist. It is meant to take these organizations as a given, and avoids the 
otherwise mandatory discussion of the factors which led to their appearance in the first 
place. This insight, however, does not preclude the development of future terrorist types 
and organizations. 

Although it is difficult to develop a hierarchy between the great variety of factors 
that influence terrorist operations, tactics, and the selection of targets, two factors seem to 



24 



be of greater significance than others -the motivation behind, and the objective of the 
terrorist act Both factors furthermore are influencing each other in multiple ways 

In the context of motivation, for instance, religious terrorist groups act in different 
ways from groups that are motivated by socio-revolutionary aims. While the latter are 
affected by political, moral, or practical constraints, and thus purposefully adjust means to 
the political end, religious terrorism assumes a transcendental dimension. Religion 
becomes manipulated to provide a rationale for the use of violence. There is no need to 
justify the elimination of the infidel, when violence becomes a sacramental act or divine 
duty. Thus, religious terrorists regard acts of massive deaths, including their own 
martyrdom as suicide bombers, as both morally justified and expedient for the attainment 
of their goals. 9 Additionally, while secular terrorists see themselves as a part of the system 
they want to change or overthrow, hence are naturally not interested in its complete 
destruction, religious motivated terrorists more often than not regard themselves as 
outsiders. This sense of alienation enables the 'holy warrior' to go for much more lethal 
and destructive operations and makes the category of enemies an open-ended one. 
(Hoffinan, 1993, pp. 17-18) 

Turning to the objectives of a terrorist act, we must distinguish between short- 
term, mid-term and long-term aims, and the respective means to reach them. Is, for 
instance, terror and atrocity an end in itself, or is the terrorist act intended to achieve a 
long-term goal? Is the action part of an overall strategy or is it an isolated act? Does the 
terrorist act itself serve an operational goal or strategic aim, or is it meant to finance the 
organization? 10 It is easy to imagine that the answer to each of these questions influences 
other factors as well 



9 For an impressive description of this type of terrorist see Jaber, Hezbollah. Born with a vengeance, 
1997, pp. 1-6. 

10 As an example, as Maria Moyano points out, in Argentina, except for the 1976-79 period, ransom was 
by far the most prevalent motive for kidnapping operations, a kind of fund-raising campaign, first 
distributed to the poor in so-called Robin Hood type operations, later used to strengthen and support an 
organization of increasing complexity and enabling large scale operations against the military 
(Moyano, 1995, pp.41 ,59). 



25 



Beside motivation and objective, technology constitutes another important factor. 
The dimensions herein are availability, obtainability, and suitability of the desired 
technology with regard to the planned operation. Terrorist organizations that are 
sponsored by foreign governments are likely to have access to the same spectrum of 
technology that is available to the respective governments. Terrorists sponsored by other 
non-state organizations or acting on their behalf, are likely to be better funded and 
equipped than groups that are acting on their own. 11 Given the required amount of money, 
terrorists, especially after the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact, and the subsequent sale 
of weapons technology, can obtain nearly every technology available. Although trends of 
the past point towards a traditional and conservative pattern of terrorist actions, with guns 
and bombs remaining the main ingredients, recent developments and the rise of new 
threats, which will be discussed later, indicate a possible change in this aspect (Hoffman, 
1994, pp.29-30). 

Another factor that cannot be neglected is the target itself, or rather, the various 
dimensions of the target. As already pointed out, one must distinguish between the target 
of violence or victim, and the target of influence. The 'terrorist-victim-target-audience' 
relationship is highly complex. 12 As Michael Stohl writes: 

An important key to the understanding of terrorism is to recognize that 
while each of the component parts of the process is important, the 
emotional impact of the terrorist act and the social effects are more 
important than the particular action itself. In other words, the targets of the 
terror are far more important for the process than are the victims of the 
immediate act.(Stohl,1990,p.83) 



11 For example drag cartels normally have remarkable financial and organizational capacities at their 
disposal; the Russian mafia is believed to have access to nearly every technology, including fissile 
material. 

12 For instance, in case of the Algerian insurgency that began in 1992, the government, which is 
illegitimate in the eyes of the terrorists, is the target, the society is both the audience and the victim, as 
well as the target, because it is expected to participate in the desired overthrow of the government, or 
should at least contribute to this attempt. Every reaction or repression by the government of course 
works in favor of the terrorists, because it underlines the 'true nature' of the regime which is the 
reason for the terrorist actions in the first place. -The process begins anew. 



26 



All three dimensions, the victim, the target, and the audience are furthermore to be 
considered in the context of the terrorist act, its objectives, and the respective motivation. 

An additional factor that has an important impact on terrorist operations is the 
organization itself. Complex operations, requiring a complex planning and execution 
process, demand a more complex, and centralized, organizational structure. Professional 
organized terrorists can conduct more sophisticated operations, control more resources, 
and, more often than not, have better connections. Terrorist groups which during their 
existence have developed a complex organization in turn are likely to continue to operate, 
even when their objectives have been reached, or are no longer realistic, for the mere 
purpose of the organization's survival. Thus, the organization replaces the objective of the 
struggle, and becomes an end in itself. 

Finally, but of no less importance, the media have become an important factor in 
the context of terrorist operations, providing exactly the platform the terrorist seeks, when 
trying to advertise his cause. 13 In fact, it is a kind of symbiotic relationship that binds 
terrorism and media together. The nonverbal type of communication that the terrorist 
resorts to in committing the terrorist act is, with the help of the media, transferred into 
verbal communication demanding attention by the public. The media find that terrorism 
has high news value, and provides for good ratings. In terms of ingredients it carries all the 
conflict and drama that makes it an attractive news for all media, offers visual possibilities 
for television and photo coverage, and often enough crosses the border into entertainment. 
The reason behind the media's attention to terrorism is, of course, public interest. (Martin, 
1990, pp. 158-62) 

With the media in the Western world paying special attention to terrorism, and 
providing adequate coverage, it is not surprising that in 1996 sixty-nine percent of all 
international terrorist incidents occurred in the western hemisphere. 14 A preference that 



13 For a detailed study of the relationship between terrorism and the media see: Nacos, Terrorism & the 
Media. New York, Columbia University Press, 1994. 

14 Data derived from: United States Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism . 1996. 



27 



can furthermore be explained by the fact that it is easier for terrorists to operate in 
democracies. 

As already mentioned, other factors exist which, depending on the specific 
situation, have impact on terrorist operations. As the discussion of the selected factors has 
shown, the complexity of their multiple interrelationships does not allow for an exact 
prediction of future operations. Nevertheless their knowledge is essential to determine a 
spectrum of likely future operations. 

2. Future Targets 

The trends discussed in the previous section have shown that diplomats and their 
installations, the government, and the military are favored targets. This trend is likely to 
continue, since those targets embody powerful symbols of the system whose legitimacy the 
terrorists are questioning. 

In the case of diplomatic targets, the fact that two or more nations can be targeted 
at the same time -the host-nation as well as the accredited nation- make this type of target 
a most valuable one 15 

In regard to the military, the point has already been made that more than other 
organizations and agencies, the military represents the monopoly of power of the state 
which itself is contested by the terrorist. 

Since nation-states can be targeted either directly -being victim and target of the 
terrorist operation at the same time- or indirectly, through actions that inflict either fear 
and mistrust in their respective society, or are meant as a part of a bargaining/ blackmailing 



^ In the course of the seizure of the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru, on December 17, 
1996 by terrorists of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) during a diplomatic 
reception, more than 500 persons were taken hostage, including Peruvian Ministers, six supreme court 
justices, eight U.S. officials, and numerous foreign ambassadors -including Germany's. Although the 
action was primarily directed against the Peruvian Government, demanding the release of convicted 
MRTA activists, and putting political pressure on Peru, this incident showed how easily a variety of 
nations and agencies could be targeted, and subsequently blackmailed at the same time. The event was 
especially embarrassing, since in April 1996, Peru had just hosted the 'Inter- American Specialized 
Conference on Terrorism '.(U.S. Department of State, 1996, p. 12) 



28 



strategy, it is likely that, together with the trend towards more lethality, an increase of 
indiscriminate violence will hit a broader spectrum of victims than in the past. Thus, 
terrorist violence becomes the concern of whole societies and not merely of sectors 
thereof. 

Finally, it has to be noted that while the volume of worldwide terrorism fluctuates 
from year to year, U.S. citizens remain favored targets of terrorists throughout the world. 
As Hoffman discovers: "Since 1968 the United States has annually headed the list of 
countries whose nationals and property are most frequently attacked by terrorists." 
(Hoffman, 1993, 5:2, p. 24) This phenomenon is attributable as much to the geographical 
scope and diversity of US' s overseas commercial, political and military interests, as to the 
United States' stature as the only super-power and the leader of the free world. While 
international terrorists may perceive it difficult to operate and strike targets within the 
U.S. itself, there is no need to take these risks, since American interests and citizens 
abroad make for readily available targets. This opportunity to symbolically strike against 
U.S. 'expansionism', 'imperialism', and 'economic exploitation' across the globe, together 
with the unparalleled opportunities for exposure and publicity -thanks to the U.S. media- 
ensures that the United States' citizens and properties remain likely, and from the 
terrorist's perspective most attractive targets in the future. Moreover, as the only 
remaining super-power, the United States is likely to be blamed for more of the world's 
ills than in the past. Regardless of whether the U.S. intervenes in a given crisis or not, -the 
terrorist is likely to find a reason for anti-American terrorism anyway. (Hoffman, 1993, 
p.24) 

C. NEW THREATS 

This section describes future threats, such as WMD terrorism. Not all the threats 
analyzed here are new in the sense that they represent tactical innovation. In some cases it 
is the change in terrorist behavior -proven or assumed- or the emergence of hitherto 



29 



non-existing or neglected terrorist types, that makes them new. These new threats 
supplement, and do not substitute the traditional threats. 

1. Weapons of Mass Destruction 

On 20 March 1995, at the height of the morning rush hour, five members of 
the Aum Shinri Kyo sect, each carrying a nondescript package wrapped in 
newspaper, boarded cars on three main lines of the Tokyo subway system. 
The trains were all scheduled to arrive at the Kasumigaseki station, in the 
heart of the capital's government district, between 8:09 and 8:13 am. Each 
Aum member placed his package on the floor beneath his seat and, using a 
sharp-tipped umbrella, proceeded to puncture holes in plastic pouches 
containing the ingredients of a deadly gas, sarin. As the gas formed and 
began to spread through the cars and stations at which they stopped, 
thousands of commuters were overcome. In all, 12 people died and over 
5,500 were injured, some permanently scarred. Two of the subway lines 
were temporarily shut down and 26 stations closed. (Purver, 1997, p. 1) 

Suddenly Tokyo, the world's safest metropolis felt under siege. It had become a 
city of fear. 

The Tokyo subway attack marked a significant turning point in terrorist 
operations, and its aftermath sent tremors around the globe. Mass transit systems 
throughout the world tightened security, and in New York, an airline jet spent ten hours 
on the runway at John F. Kennedy airport while the FBI checked out a threat that poison 
gas was aboard the flight. (Kaplan, 1996, p. 264) 

While the chemical attack on Tokyo's subway system came as no great surprise to 
many experts in world terrorism, who had been warning for over two decades that 
terrorist groups might resort to the use or threat of chemical or biological weapons against 
civilian populations, and while such weapons had been used (or threatened) in isolated, 
and relatively minor incidents in the past, this attack marked their first use in a large-scale, 
indiscriminate assault on a major urban area. 16 (Purver, 1997, p. 1) 



16 Among various others: the reported 1975 theft of a large quantity of mustard gas from a US 
ammunition bunker in West Germany, followed by threats of its use by the Baader-Meinhof Gang; the 
arrest in Chicago in 1972 of members of a US right-wing group known as the 'Order of the Rising 
Sun', who possessed 30-40 kg of typhoid bacteria cultures for use against water supplies in Chicago, 



30 



The Tokyo attack proved that a determined non-state group, in this case a 
religious sect, can amass material, know-how, and equipment to develop, threaten and use 
WMD. While due to problems of production, storage, and delivery, the use of nuclear 
devices is less likely, chemical and biological agents are much easier to obtain or produce. 
What fortunately makes the use of chemical weapons much more difficult are problems 
that are related to their stability as a toxic agent and their dispersal, which depend largely 
on climatic factors. Aum Shinri Kyo encountered these problems in the attack on the 
Japanese town of Matsumoto in the summer of 1994, and in the subway attack, when 
fortunately the sarin used was apparently diluted. 17 (Laqueur, 1996, p. 30) 

Biological agents are far and away the most dangerous. Where the use of chemical 
agents may lead to the death of thousands, biological agents could kill hundreds of 
thousands. They are also easily procured, but storage and delivery are even more difficult 
than for chemical agents. The risk of contamination is high, and many of the most lethal 
bacteria and spores do not survive very well outside laboratories. Thus, it would be 
misleading to extrapolate directly from their individual lethal dose under laboratory 
conditions to estimate casualties from mass attacks, given the need for effective delivery. 
Nevertheless, in terms of sheer lethality, biological agents -in theory- offer a 'bigger bang 
for the buck'. (Purver, 1997, p.3) 

Another scenario would be the use of a 'human bio-weapon', a person who is 
voluntarily infected with, for example small-pox, thus acting as a new form of a human- 
bomb, seeking martyrdom in the struggle to 'spread' a religious belief, or trying to 



and other Midwestern cities; the reported plot of a subgroup of the US 'Minutemen' to introduce 
hydrogen cyanide gas into the air-conditioning system of the United Nations building in New York; 
the 27 June 1994 sarin attack on the Japanese town of Matsumoto For a good overview covering the 
threat or use of biological and chemical weapons in the past see: Ron Purver. "Chemical and 
Biological Terrorism: New Threat to Public Safety?", Conflict Studies , no. 295, London, Research 
Institute for the Study of Conflict and Terrorism, 1997. 

17 For a comprehensive research on Aum Shinri Kyo and the Tokyo subway attack see: David Kaplan 
and Andrew Marshall, The Cult at the End of the World New York, Crown Publishers, 1996. 



31 



implement Armageddon in the attempt to fulfill the apocalyptic vision of a millennialistic 
sect. 

Neither panic, nor a police-state, where everything and everybody is under 
control, offer a solution to the problem discussed above. Chances are that 99 out of 100 
attempts at terrorist superviolence may actually fail. In the case of the Tokyo subway 
attack 'we' were lucky, but while 'we' have to be lucky at all times, the terrorist has to be 
lucky only once. 18 A single successful attempt could cause many more casualties, do more 
material damage, and unleash far greater panic than anything societies have experienced so 
far. (Laqueur, 1996, p. 36) 

Weapons of mass destruction, whether they are provided via clandestine support, 
or improvised and self-produced, offer marginal groups or even individuals the chance to 
have a major impact on the world stage. Even if it is argued that the same capabilities have 
been available for a long time, the situation is a different one, since the face of terrorism 
has changed, and by now available 'means' are met by a respective 'will'. 

Thus, scenarios akin to the subway attack can no longer be ruled out, or as Robert 
Blitzer, head of the FBI's terrorism section warns,"... The consensus of people in the law 
enforcement and intelligence communities is that it's not a matter of // it's going to 
happen, it's when" 19 

2. Religious Terrorism 

At about 5.07 a.m., the suicide bomber prepared himself for his journey. 
Having performed the dawn prayers and drunk a few cups of sweet, strong 
tea, he went through the details of his attack for the last time with his 
leaders, received the blessings from a senior cleric and positioned himself in 
the truck. 

He was all set to go and meet his awaited martyrdom. He knew 
from all the preaching and talks he had received that the instant he died he 



8 I am paraphrasing an Irish Republican Army statement made in the context of the failed attempt to 
kill then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the Conservative Party's annual conference in 1984. 



19 Quoted in Kaplan, 1997, p.28; emphasis in the original. 



32 



would be met by Hour al-Ayn, a nymph of unimaginable beauty and 
serenity. She would tend his wounds, wipe away the blood and escort him 
to heaven. He would die the most sublime death of martyrdom and paradise 
was certainly his reward. (Jaber, 1997, p. 83) 

In his last journey, the holy warrior's destiny was fulfilled, -and caused the death 
of 241 US Marines. 

While 'religion', as a term, more often than not is associated with something being 
'good' by nature, religion and terrorism share a long history. Historical examples of 
terrorism motivated by a religious imperative are the 'Zealots', a millenarian Jewish sect 
who fought the Roman occupation of what is now the state of Israel between 66-73 AD, 
or the 'Thugs', an Indian association of professional robbers and murderers who, being 
active from the seventh until the mid- 19 th century, systematically strangled wayward 
travelers as sacrificial offerings to Kali, the Hindu goddess of terror and destruction. 
(Hoffinan, 1993, p. 1) 

In recent decades, however, terrorism has been predominantly politically or 
ideologically motivated, and thus overshadowed the relationship of terrorism and religion. 
While in 1968 none of the 13 identifiable, active terrorist groups could be classified as 
religious, in 1993 at least 20 percent of the approximately 50 active terrorist groups could 
be described as having a religious motivation. (Hoffinan, 1993, p. 2) 

The basic difference between religious and purely secular motivated terror has been 
described earlier. The different value systems, the mechanisms of legitimization and 
justification , and often enough the abuse of religion as a vehicle to define otherwise 
unrealistic objectives and demand the use of otherwise irrational means, makes religious 
terrorism far more unpredictable, dangerous, and lethal. Whereas secular terrorists 
generally do not consider ^discriminate violence as a mean to their ends, religious 
terrorists regard such violence not only as justified in their response to some theological 
demand or imperative, but as necessary and expedient to attain their goals. (Hoffinan, 
1993, pp.2-3) 



33 



The other main difference lies in their respective constituencies, or better lack 
thereof, and their subsequent perception of themselves in regard to their environment. 
Whereas secular terrorists attempt to appeal their cause to a constituency composed of 
actual and potential sympathizers, religious terrorists live and act in isolation. Since the 
religious terrorist does not seek to change an existing system for the better, and thus does 
not try to preserve any components thereof, but to replace neighboring systems by his 
own, he is, through this alienation, capable of conducting far more destructive operations 
than secular terrorists. -Where the secular type sees violence as a means to an end, the 
religious terrorist tends to view violence as an end in itself. (Hoffman, 1993, p. 3) 

Although religious terrorism is predominantly connected with Islamic 
fundamentalism, it has to be recognized that a great variety of groups carry a religious 
element in their motivation, which is not necessarily of Islamic origin. More recently, they 
are supplemented by a new generation of millennialist groups, cults and sects, such as 
Aum Shinri Kyo. 

Moreover, the legitimization of violence based on religious precepts, and a 
preoccupation with the elimination of a broadly defined category of 'enemies' are also 
apparent among radical messianic terrorist movements in Israel, and militant Christian 
white supremacists in the United States. Particularly alarming in this context is the fact 
that the white supremacist's racism, anti-Semitism and sedition is justified and legitimized 
on theological grounds. (Hoffman, 1993, pp. 5-7) 

As the millennium approaches, the effects of this symbolic watershed on religion 
inspired terrorist groups is hard to predict. Will they try to hasten the redemption 
associated with the millennium through acts of increasing violence, or, if that redemption 
does not occur in the year 2000, seek to correct this unfortunate development by the use 
ofWMD? (Hoffinan, 1993, pp. 13-14) 



34 



3. Cyber - Terrorism 

Armed Forces throughout the world have identified the importance of a new kind 
of battlefield, Information Warfare. The basic assumption is that the one who controls this 
battlefield retains the initiative on other battlefields as well. 

Advanced societies of today are to a great extent dependent on the electronic 
storage, retrieval, analysis, and transmission of information The amount of data used in 
this process increases daily. Their importance in the day-to-day life of these societies 
makes them a vital area in terms of security concerns. Defense, banking, power supply, 
law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, trade, transportation, air traffic control, 
and a large percentage of government's and private's sector's transactions are on-line. 
This in turn exposes amounts of vital, and often enough confidential data to mischief or 
sabotage by any computer hacker. 20 (Laqueur, 1996, p. 3 5) 

In a seminar, held by the Congressional Research Service, Michael Jakub, Director 
of Special Projects in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the U.S. 
Department of State, stressed this aspect of future threat. The possibilities of disruption of 
info-systems through viruses or electronic sabotage, the ability of groups -especially 
mafia-type and terrorist groups- to obtain funds through electronic penetration and 
manipulation of financial systems, as well as the penetration of info-systems in an attempt 
to get information on people and possible targets, opens up the dimension of information 
warfare to terrorism as well. (Congressional Research Service, 1995, p. 5) 

According to a testimony from Arnaud de Borchgrave, Director CSIS, before the 
House of Representatives, Committee on International Relations, the ASSIST Center of 



20 In March 1998 the FBI raided the home of a suspected teenage computer hacker with the online name 
'Makaveli'. In a follow-up interview, the teenager boasted that he had hacked more than 200 
government and private websites, including Army, Air Force, and Pentagon sites, as well as the 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Additionally he claimed that his 'cyber-pals' will start to 
hack in retaliation for his treatment by the government. 'Makaveli', however, was only the 'student' of 
Ehud Tenenbaum, an Israeli teenager and master hacker code-named 'Analyzer', who orchestrated the 
penetration of military and university research computers. In a statement, Deputy Defense Secretary 
John Hamre spoke of "...the most organized and systematic attack the Pentagon has seen to date." 
(The Monterey County Herald March 5-9, April 8, 1998). 



35 



the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) was tasked to attempt to penetrate the 
Pentagon's worldwide operations, in order to test the security and vulnerability of DOD's 
communications systems. For these mock attacks DISA did not use sophisticated tools 
and techniques, but rather software available to anyone on the Internet, such as SATAN 
and ROOTKIT. Initially, they were able to gain full user privileges of three percent of the 
computers through the frontdoor. Then, by exploiting the relationships of trust of the three 
percent, ASSIST was able to penetrate 88 percent of all targeted systems. 96 percent of 
those attacks went undetected. Of the 4 percent who did realize they had been successfully 
hacked, only 5 percent reported the incident to their superiors. The numbers of real 
attacks are rising. Whereas CERT (the DOD-funded Computer Emergency Response 
Team in Pittsburgh) handled 191 incidents throughout all of 1991, it was averaging 300 
plus per month in 1995. (U.S. Congress, Hearing, January 31, 1996, pp.59-60) 

The coming wave of cyber-terrorism is likely to present a significant challenge. 
This new, highly educated terrorist does not think in terms of truckloads of explosives, 
briefcases of sarin gas, or dynamite strapped on the bodies of fanatics. As de Borchgrave 
puts it, tomorrow's high-tech terrorists will target the place where modern, industrialized 
societies in the age of information highways are most vulnerable -at ". . the point at which 
the "physical" and the "virtual" worlds converge, the place where we live and function and 
the place in which computer programs function and data moves." (U.S. Congress, Hearing 
on October 1, 1997, p. 85) 

To wage cyber-war against states or societies, however, provides an option that is 
more likely to be chosen by criminal terrorists, organized crime, spies, and foreign 
governments, and misuse is more likely than destruction 21 Nevertheless, the harm that can 
be achieved by means of information terrorism could be as destructive to the fabric of a 
society as the use of other, more lethal weapons. (Laqueur, 1996, p. 3 5) 



21 Criminal terrorists are terrorists, who are systematically using terror for ends of material gain (Hanle, 
1989, p. 125). 



36 



4. Unabomber - The Lone Terrorist 

While the term 'Unabomber' is mainly associated with Ted Kaczynski, it stands for 
a whole new generation of terrorists, who are far more difficult to detect and to target, 
and offer a broader and more dangerous potential than 'traditional' terrorist organizations. 

Whether they are called 'boutique' terrorists, 'wandering Mujahaddin', or 
'Unabombers', they usually do not appear in the preemptive search pattern of law 
enforcement agencies 22 When they go active, the problem is how to link an act that 
nobody has anticipated to an individual or small group that nobody knows. 

For example, in both cases, the WTC and the Oklahoma City bombing, the arrest 
of the assassins was coincidental, -a result of mere luck. 23 In the case of Unabomber Ted 
Kaczynski, the law enforcement agencies would perhaps still be investigating, if not for 
Kaczynski 's brother, who turned him in. 

The ideologies of such individuals or mini-groups are likely to be even more 
aberrant than those of larger groups. They are not bound by constraints that may hold 
back larger groups to inflict mass casualties, and they may become motivated by 'fictious' 
novels such as The Turner Diaries. In addition, they possess the technical competence to 
steal, buy or produce the weapons they deem suitable for their terrorist purpose. Thus, the 



22 'Boutique' terrorists are individuals who do not work for any particular established terrorist 
organization, and are apparently not agents of any state sponsor (Description used by Raphael Perl, 
Specialist in International Terrorism Policy; Congressional Research Service, 1995, p.l). 

'Wandering Mujahaddin' are Islamic extremists from a variety of countries who happen to get together 
and decide to commit a terrorist act; not belonging to any known group or organization, although 
perhaps being sympathizers (Description used by Gail Soiin, Branch Chief, Counterterrorist Center, 
CIA; Congressional Research Service, 1995, p. 9). 

23 Salameh, the first person arrested in the WTC bombing, not only rented the yellow van that carried the 
explosives by using his own name, but compounded this error by reporting the vehicle stolen after the 
bombing. He was taken into custody when he appeared at the rental office (Simon, The Terrorist Trap, 
1994, p. 18). 

Less than one and a half hour after the bombing, Timothy McVeigh was pulled over on Interstate 35 
by an Oklahoma state trooper for driving a car with no license plate. Since McVeigh was carrying a 
concealed weapon at this time, the state trooper became suspicious and arrested him. (Dees, Gathering 
Storm. 1997, pp. 151-60). 



37 



decision-making process to use WMD in a terrorist act is reduced to the ethical and moral 
constraints of an individual. 

D. CONCLUSION 

As the statistical analysis in the first part of this chapter has shown, terrorists of the 
past followed identifiable patterns in the choice of tactics and targets Bombs and guns 
were the favorite tools of traditional terrorist groups, with an emphasis on bombing. The 
reason being obvious, since bombing, while requiring only a limited input, provides for a 
good output. More recently, bombing seems to be used as a form of indiscriminate 
violence, becoming increasingly lethal. It is a distant type of terrorism, with no need for 
terrorists to engage in any kind of personal interaction with their victims. A trend that can 
be seen as a kind of mirror image of our societies which are becoming more anonymous 
every day. 

While the total number of incidents in International Terrorism has declined, the 
number of casualties has risen. Terrorists have become more adapted to violence, as have 
societies in toto. When youths have grown up with violence as a normal and natural part 
of their lives, and are well-trained in the science of killing, thanks to their experience in 
street gangs, the may very well have higher thresholds for the number of casualties or level 
of violence they are willing to inflict upon their targets. 

As for targeting, diplomatic, government, and military targets are favorite discrete 
targets, while the trend towards more lethality is supported by a shift to a more 
indiscriminate targeting throughout affected societies. While the discrete targets are likely 
to remain the same, contemporary terrorism affects a broader spectrum of the population 
than terrorism did in the past. 

Factors that have influenced terrorism are most complex in their structure and 
influence each other in multiple dimensions. Thus, an exact prediction of future terrorist 
activities, and the development of a successful preemptive strategy remains a most 
challenging, if not impossible task. 



38 



Since politically motivated terrorism is in decline, and religious motivated 
terrorism, including the varieties of groups which respond to a religious imperative in their 
actions, is on the rise, the self-imposed constraints of the past are harder to recognize. 
Thus, terrorism in the future is likely to be very different from terrorism in the past. 

This effect is reinforced by an increasing number of cults, sects and groups that 
view the millennium in apocalyptic terms and feel themselves committed to hasten 
Armageddon. In this context, the Tokyo subway attack of Aum Shinri Kyo has changed 
the face of terrorism forever. The use of WMD by non-state groups or organizations can 
no longer be ruled out. Terrorists, organized crime, fanatical single issue groups, and even 
individuals are able to muster know-how and resources that were once limited to world 
and regional powers. And as the subway attack in Tokyo has shown, for the first time 
available means are met by the respective will to use them. While guns and bombs are tried 
and true, WMD seem to fit perfectly into the recent trends towards more lethality 

The appearance of new types of terrorists -as the Unabomber-, or more or less 
loose ad-hoc connections between ruthless individuals which are following no 
recognizable organizational pattern, makes targeting and preemptive measures for law 
enforcement agencies even more difficult. In fact, the most spectacular attacks on 
American soil -the WTC and the Oklahoma City bombing- have been executed by these 
terrorists from the margins. 

In addition, the old-fashioned type of terrorist has adapted, grown, and learned. 
Technology has proven to be a double-edged sword. New technologies that are coming 
on-line not only are of benefit for government and business organizations, but for terrorist 
and criminals as well. Moreover, the information systems used by advanced societies and 
their vulnerabilities offer a new battlefield to be exploited by terrorists and organized 
crime. 

In consequence, nowadays' societies have to face the traditional terrorist together 
with the new breed described above, as they have to face old, traditional technologies 



39 



together with the whole spectrum of WMD. Thus, one could argue, terrorism has not 
changed, -it has diversified. 

In a next step, the attention will now be drawn to the second pillar of non-state 
threat — Organized Crime. 



40 



ffl. ORGANIZED CRIME -THE RUSSIAN MAFIA- 

"Today, Russia is the biggest mafia state in the world. . . the superpower of crime 
that is devouring the state from top to bottom " 
President Boris Yeltsin, 1994 24 

Without intending to create a single devil's theory of cause, this chapter will focus 
on the rise of Russian organized crime, and its increasingly transnational dimension. 

Any serious attempt to approach the phenomenon of Russian organized crime 
must necessarily first focus on its history. In a second section, this chapter analyzes 
economic and political aspects of organized crime in Russia. A third section introduces the 
major mafia gangs and the activities of Russian organized crime throughout Europe and 
the United States. Finally, the chapter addresses the problem of nuclear trafficking. 

A. A BRIEF HISTORY OF RUSSIAN ORGANIZED CRIME 25 

Although recent years brought a major increase in organized crime in Russia, 
criminal organizations are not an entirely new phenomenon. Already in the Soviet Union, 
the "...centrally planned economies created scarcities that amounted to nationwide 
shortages of virtually any item consumers wanted. Organized crime groups... exploited 
these shortages in the past and continue to do so." (Williams, 1996, p. 14) 

Focusing on the evolution of Russian organized crime through time, Patricia 
Rawlinson states ". . that it has been the response of the legitimate structures towards the 
presence of organized crime which, up to a crucial point, has determined the latter's 



24 Quoted in: U.S. Congress, Hearing Before the Committee on International Relations . 105 th Congress, 
1 st Session, October 1, 1997, p. 81. 

25 In this subsection, I primarily draw on Patricia Rawlinson's "Russian Organized Crime: A brief 
History" and her model of the 'Chameleon Syndrome' that forms part of her thesis entitled 'Hunting 
the Chameleon: The Problems of Identifying Russian Organized Crime' (Rawlinson, 1997, pp.28-52). 
The model is very suitable as an explanation of the amalgamation between governmental and criminal 
structures in Russia. Rawlinson herself seems to draw on Stephen Handelman's Comrade Criminal . 



41 



development." (Rawlinson, 1997, p. 29, emphasis in the original) Her argument is that 
organized crime needs to interact with the legitimate structures of its host-state in order to 
expand its activities. Thus, the study of the history of organized crime in Russia has to 
focus on the changing nature of the interaction between the legitimate and the illegitimate 
structures. Through these interactions, organized crime eventually is able to merge with 
the Russian state and begins to play a proactive role. Rawlinson calls her model the 
'Chameleon Syndrome'. 

1. The Chameleon Syndrome in Theory 

Rawlinson's model recognizes four stages of development in the relationship 
between legitimate structures and organized crime in Russia. 26 In the first or reactive 
stage, organized crime operates outside of, or contiguous to the legitimate structures. The 
host-system is politically and economically stable and thus has little need to compromise 
or negotiate. Organized criminal groups are at a primitive stage. Politically motivated 
banditry and youth gangs fall into this category. The second stage, passive assimilative, 
marks the first phase of negotiation or compromise. The host-system has weakened, 
particularly in the economic sector. Since economic failure often means political failure, 
the host-system seeks to acquire from illegal sources that which cannot be gained 
legitimately. If not actively engaged with the suppliers, it at least turns a blind eye to those 
who are. Consequently a shadow economy with low level bribery and corruption develops. 
In the third stage, active assimilative, organized crime penetrates the legitimate structures 
to the point that it gains the opportunity to act partially autonomously. The transition from 
passive to active assimilative is fluent and most threatening to the host-system, as it is 
beyond this point that it begins to loose control of the negotiating process. Organized 
crime now has the ability to influence the legitimate system. Money laundering, high levels 
of bribery, and the beginning of an active presence in the legitimate economy are the 
salient elements of organized criminal activities in this phase. Finally, the proactive stage 



26 'Legitimate structures' refers to the political, economic and criminal justice system (Rawlinson. fn 4). 



42 



indicates that organized crime has become the major power-holder It has penetrated all 
structures of power, and no longer needs to negotiate with the host-system. The complete 
process does not necessarily indicate a natural progression for every organized crime 
group. Some groups never develop beyond the reactive stage, while others find immediate 
entry into the active assimilative phase. The very existence of each of these stages depends 
ultimately on the condition of the legitimate structures. (Rawlinson, 1997, pp.3 1-32) 
Table 3-1 below shows the different stages in Rawlinson's model. 



Table 5-1. — The Chameleon Syndrome 



Organized Crime 

Bandits, teenage groups 
No desire or ability to 
negotiate and break into 
the legitimate structures 

Integration into legitimate 
structures, usually as 
informant or low level 
bribery. Restricted level of 
money laundering 



Integration now more 
controlled. Bribery moves 
into higher level of legit 
structures. Money 
laundering widespread 

Active and significant 
participation in legit 
economy 

Significant control of legit 
structures, particularly 
economic and law 
enforcement. 
Manipulation in politics. 



Stage of Development 
REACTIVE 



PASSIVE 
ASSIMILATIVE 



ACTIVE 
ASSIMILATIVE 



PROACTIVE 



Legitimate Structures 

Usually strong. Political 
and economic stability. 
No need to negotiate 



Subtle weakening of 
structures, e.g., economic 
slump, law enforcement 
not in full control. 
Prepared to negotiate on 
prescribed terms 

Political and economic 
structures significantly 
weakened. Power vacuums. 
Grey areas between legit 
and illegit increase. 
Negotiation strength on par 
with organized crime. 



Anomie 

Acquiescence replaces 
negotiation 



Source. Patricia Rawlinson, "Russian Organized Crime: A Brief History", in: Russian Organized Crime: The New 
Threat?, ed. Phil Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, p. 31 . 



43 



2. The Chameleon Syndrome and Russian Reality 

Looking at the course of Russian history, one factor stands out persistently -the 
principle of autocracy. Even the revolution of 1917, in the end, only replaced one form of 
autocracy by another. 

a. From Tsarist to Soviet Russia 

While most Western European states at the beginning of the 1 9 th century 
were making tentative moves towards democracy, Russia remained fixed in a feudal 
system where the Tsar's authority was absolute. Even early attempts at revolt, such as the 
Decembrist revolt of 1 825, only led to an increase in the autocratic abuse of power. The 
response to the Tsar's intransigence finally was an escalation of revolutionary activity that 
culminated in the assassination of Alexander II in 1881 and the revolutions of 1905 and 
1917. (Rawlinson, 1997, p. 33) 

Law in the Tsarist period operated as an instrument of the strong and 
provided little or no protection to the vulnerable. Thus, often deviance became a means of 
survival for the peasant. And what was artifice to the peasantry was practiced as 
corruption in the bureaucracy. Furthermore, in a system where promotion was based more 
on appeasement than merit, the practice of 'window dressing', for example the Potemkin 
village, became a key to success. Thus, truth and falsehood, the legal and the illegal 
became more and more separated only by fluent and indistinct borders. (Rawlinson, 1 997, 
pp.33-34) 

In the 1 880s and 1 890s Russia experienced an industrial boom that brought 
it into fourth place in world production of minerals and raw materials. High tariffs, 
however, discouraged Russian businesses from adopting the advanced economic practices 
of their Western counterparts. Furthermore, the industrial boom was supported by foreign 
investment, including German banks and industrialists. Against this background, Russia's 
decision to enter the first World War brought the country near to economic collapse. 
(Rawlinson, 1997, p. 34) 



44 



When Lenin and the Bolsheviks took over, their heritage included the 
vestiges of an autocracy which pervaded all legitimate structures, the social chaos which 
accompanies most revolutions, and a disastrous economic situation. Furthermore, 
Bolsheviks were products of Tsarist Russia, their thinking and conduct inescapably shaped 
by the system they sought to destroy. Only months after Lenin's take-over, the Cheka, 
more brutal than its Tsarist counterparts, and predecessor of the KGB, was established. 
The legislature too also became abused and manipulated to an extent never experienced 
before (Rawlinson, 1997, pp. 34-3 5) 

With the claims to legitimacy of the new ruling elite lying in economic 

performance, economic failure became equivalent to political failure. Under these 

circumstances, as Rawlinson points out, 

it was almost inevitable, given the weak infrastructure, that sooner or later 
the new government would have to compromise its ideological stance 
without having to admit failure or a permanent deviation from the stated 
goals. What began as temporary means of alleviating shortages, a 
negotiation with structures outside the dominant economic system, that is, 
with the penumbral world of the second and shadow economies, became an 
eventual cause of those shortages and the nemesis of a system it was 
supposed to support, thus paving the way for the burgeoning of organized 
crime from the late 1970s. (Rawlinson, 1997, p. 3 5) 

b. Communists and Criminals 

In the early stage of their revolutionary struggle, the Bolsheviks made a 
point of recruiting criminals to their cause. The latter's skills -called 'expropriations' but 
meaning bank robberies and kidnapping tsarist officials for ransom- added substantially to 
the Bolshevik war chest. Even Joseph Stalin, the future 'Great Father' of the Soviet State, 
was implicated in several heists, including a bank robbery in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. 
Furthermore, the gang's harsh discipline and secrecy came to characterize the Bolshevik 
cells and, eventually, the Communist Party itself. Although the vorovskoi mir, the Thieves 
Society, as the weaker force, appeared to borrow much of its rhetoric and organizational 
tactics from the Party, the evolution of the Communist leadership resembled in turn 



45 



nothing so much as the growth of a large criminal syndicate. That was perhaps the very 
reason why the Party came to see the vorovskoi mir as one of the greater threats to its 
own authority. In fact, the gang leaders proved as resolute in their resistance to Soviet 
commissars as they had been to the tsarist police. (Handelman, 1995, pp. 35-36) 

This non-political rejection of the dominant system eventually gave birth to 
a shadow-society based on norms and codes strictly adhered to by its members and 
severely punished if betrayed. When these codes of behavior were formalized at the 
beginning of the 1930s, the leading figures of the new criminal underworld became known 
as vory v zakone, or 'thieves-in-law'. Among the numerous rules was the total rejection 
of the socialist system and the Soviet society, giving them an almost heroic status in the 
eyes of many ordinary Russians. Thieves' solidarity in a life outside the host-system was 
worth more than money, and this honor code remained unchanged until the Great Patriotic 
War (1941^45) when a bloody split occurred in the criminal underworld. (Rawlinson, 
1997, p.38) 

In these early days, by their very nature, the vorovskoi mir and vory v 
zakone remained reactive, as were the legitimate structures in their response. In such a 
situation compromise is seldom sought, since costs for both sides are too great, meaning 
either a loss of ideals or status. While the 'rebels' offer no direct advantage to the 
legitimate structures, the latter respond at best with reluctant tolerance if the effort to 
pursue the offenders is not commensurate with the gains achieved by doing so. 
(Rawlinson, 1997, p.38) 

After the German invasion of Russia in June 1 94 1 , thousands of Russian 
gangsters joined their fellow countrymen in the army and ammunition plants. Patriotism 
seemed to outweigh the traditional vory ban on association with the legitimate structures 
Their leaders, the vory v zakone, however, considered this behavior as a betrayal of the 
gang code of honor. Thus, when the gangsters returned from the front, they were met with 
contempt, and were labeled with the same slang word applied to turncoats and informers 
in prison: suki, meaning 'bitches'. In prison, the turncoats were viewed as traitors. Thus, 



46 



in the so called 'war of bitches' hundreds of convicts were killed in the gulag. As a result, 
Soviet authorities falsely announced in the mid-1950s that the vorovskoi mir was finished. 
Since crime had been extinguished in the Soviet Union, police was no longer supposed to 
chase professional criminals. What really had happened, was that the vory had gone further 
underground. The 'bitches' who survived broke their ties with the old vorovskoi mir when 
they left prison. Having been punished for violating one tenet of the code already, they no 
longer felt obliged to adhere to its other commandments, especially the prohibitions 
against going into business. Thus, the sulci became the financiers of the black market. 
(Handelman, 1995, pp.35-36) 

The essential aim behind any kind of negotiation is that the legitimate 
structures remain in control of the process. If a society is weak, however, if corruption is 
extensive, if the line between legal and illegal becomes blurred, oblique forms of 
compromise are going to be more common. The danger in this process lies in the 
probability that the legitimate structures may gradually loose control of the negotiations 
which become increasingly commonplace. (Rawlinson, 1997, p. 3 8) 

In the postwar years an increase in banditry, serious crimes and treason 
took place. The 'war of bitches' had left a vacuum previously inhabited by traditional 
criminals. This vacuum was now filled by the newly convicted, who soon established their 
own rules based more on self-interest than idealism. By the beginning of the 1960s the 
reign of the traditional vory v zakone was practically over. With the gulf between 
legitimate and illegitimate increasingly disappearing, the politically powerful and the 
criminal elite were entering the same arena. The assimilative phase had begun. (Rawlinson, 
1997, p.40) 

Even prior to Joseph Stalin's death in 1953, it became evident that Soviet 
industry was running into difficulties. Centralized planning, the cornerstone of Soviet 
socialism, was malfunctioning. A whole new vocabulary emerged to describe the efforts 
which were deemed necessary to overcome this kind of 'friction': blat, having the right 
connections; ochkovtiratel'stvo, 'pulling the wool over someone's eyes'; krugovaya 



41 



poruka, mutual support between officials in such activities as fiddling accounts, pocketing 
pay-offs or illegally gained 'extras'. Even new professions emerged, such as the tolkach or 
fixer, a dealer who would negotiate the exchange of necessary supplies which would 
enable firms to meet their official quotas. With demand continuously outweighing supply, 
the population, however, turned to another source: the growing black market 27 With the 
legitimate market failing to produce the demanded goods and services, and in order to 
pre-empt any potential disorder arising from shortages, the once dominant system became 
increasingly dependent on the black market. A total symbiosis between the legal sector 
and the shadow economy became unstoppable. In return for their services, the 'tycoons' 
of the black market received krysha (protection) from their official patrons, members of 
the Party structure. Thus, a new breed of criminal emerged with a new breed of Party 
official, both having in common that former idealism and ideological goals were replaced 
by profit, and by power and prestige respectively. The most salient feature of this process 
was the formation of a direct alliance between organized crime as supplier of commodities 
and services to the political elite and the patronage offered in return. Together both 
groups formed an invincible alliance, and had now only to wait for Gorbachev's reforms 
which would help them to take over the country. (Rawlinson, 1997, pp. 42-43) 

By the late 1980s the most successful dealers of the black market had risen 
to tsekhoviki, owners of underground factories, which were the only efficient suppliers for 
the growing demand for otherwise unobtainable goods. As these new entrepreneurs began 
to amass their fortunes, they became targets for criminal gangs, the less sophisticated 
illegal groups. The latter started to demand money from the illegal entrepreneurs, either by 
direct physical threats or through kidnapping of relatives. Even with the patronage of the 
legitimate structures, there was little the tsekhoviki could do. A new-style criminal boss 
was born, the avtoritet (authority), who was in turn allowed to invest into business, and 
even to take a seat on the 'board of directors'. By association, Party members, 



27 By 1990 official estimates admitted that 50 percent of Soviet citizens purchased a variety of goods 
from the black market. In fact normal life was impossible without black market goods and services. 



48 



government employees and law enforcement workers became involved and profited from 
the new alliance. As long as the Communist Party remained the sole source of authority, 
control rested with the legitimate structures. With the erosion of state-authoritarianism 
and greater emphasis on market-style economics, this relationship became unbalanced in 
favor of the illegitimate structures. The final shift from passive to active assimilative 
occurred as a result of Gorbachev's reforms. (Rawlinson, 1997, pp. 43^15) 

While the most powerful Russian organized crime groups were already in 
place when Gorbachev took over in 1985, the subsequent reforms, particularly the Law on 
State Enterprises (1987) offered endless opportunities for their expansion. With foreign 
partners entering the former contained market, money laundering, through joint 
associations, became practically 'legal'. The first private banks in Moscow thus were 
opened by representatives of the illegitimate structure. Business became powerful enough 
to run its own affairs, independent of the state, and able to compete with it. The balance of 
power had shifted in favor of organized criminal organizations. They had become active 
assimilated into the legitimate structures. (Rawlinson, 1997, p. 47) 

The active assimilative stage still involves a symbiosis between the 
legitimate and illegitimate structures. At this point, however, the boundaries between 
legitimate and illegitimate become indiscernible. After the abrogation of Article 6 of the 
Soviet Constitution in 1990, which abolished the political monopoly of the Communist 
Party, economic power became paramount. Evolving power vacuums were filled by those 
with access to wealth. In an attempt to preserve their personal influence, there was a 
scramble by former members of the political elite to invest in the economic sector. Former 
compromise became a fully active partnership on equal terms with criminal groups. 
Patronage became the province of the economic lords. The proactive stage had been 
reached. (Rawlinson, 1997, p. 49) 

Table 3-2 below provides a complete overview of the evolution of the 
relationship between legitimate structures and organized crime in Russia. 



49 



Table 3-2. 



Organized Crime 

Bandits, 

Vory v zakone (I) 

(less sophisticated gangs, 

teenage groups) 

War of bitches (1940s) 
Vory v zakone (II) 
Black market , tsekhoviki 
early 1970s 

Growth of shadow 
economy 

Tsekhoviki increase 
economic base 



-The Relationship Between Legitimate Structures 
and Organized Crime in Russia 



Stage of Development 
REACTIVE 



PASSIVE 
ASSIMILATIVE 



ACTIVE 
ASSIMILATIVE 



Legitimate Structures 

Tsarist autocracy 
Soviet totalitarianism 



Soviet totalitarianism 
Quasi-totalitarianism 



Nepotism and mass 
corruption in Central- Asian 
republics (late 1970s) 
Slowing down of economic growth 



Mass money laundering 
into new economic 
ventures co-operatives, 
joint ventures 

Active role in privatization 
Foreign business contracts 
Political figures bought 
Media manipulation 
Infiltration into banking 



PROACTIVE 



Perestroika 
Democratization 



End of Gorbachev era 
1991 August coup 
Yeltsin and new' Russia 



Source: Patricia Rawlinson, "Russian Organized Crime: A Brief History", in: Russian Organized Crime: The New 
Threat?, ed. Phil Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, p. 30. 

And the chameleon could stop to change its colors -it was now 
determining its surroundings. 



3. Summary 

We told ourselves that Russians, given a genuine choice, would grab 
democracy with eager hands. And we were convinced that capitalism and a 
free—market economy would provide the motor for Russia's 
transformation. (Handelman, 1995, p. 6) 



50 



As the discussion in the previous subsection has shown, the history of Russian 
organized crime has been a history of responses by the legitimate structures to the 
presence of the former. From today's perspective, and with the advantage of hindsight, 
this evolution even seems inevitable. In Russia's case, the weakness of the legitimate 
structures which evolved under authoritarianism accounted for the readiness to negotiate 
with entities outside of the dominant system until economic inefficiencies led to the decline 
of the Soviet regime, and organized crime became proactive. (Rawlinson, 1997, pp. 50-51) 

B. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS 

The principle of autocracy can be recognized as a dominant factor in the course of 
Russian history. Against this background, the collapse of the socialist system in Eastern 
Europe and the Soviet Union was hailed as the end of authoritarianism. With the 
Communist autocracy declining, western analysts concluded that citizens could no longer 
be denied access to information, be restricted in their mobility, or compelled to obey. The 
subsequent evolution of a democratic system, similar to Western models, seemed 
inevitable. Centralized power structures and connections, however, never were broken up 
completely. Together with the already mentioned association between former party 
nomenclature and economic avtoritet, diminishing state-autocracy thus did not necessarily 
mean the disappearance of authoritarianism. The fact that any significant social changes 
which break down an established mode of life require a transformation of the previously 
acquired value systems, was, at least initially, neglected (Voronin, 1997, p. 55) 

1. Organized Crime - A Form of Post-Soviet Authoritarianism 28 

In Russia today, it is the same terror system of the old days, just with 
different people... My grandfather was a general who was discredited and 
killed by Stalin in 1937, so I know. Now it's not the communists, it's the 



28 The argument in this section follows Prof. Louise Shelley's statement made in a testimony before the 
House International Relations Committee on Post-Soviet Organized Crime, April 30, 1996; it is also 
laid out in her article "Post-Soviet Organized Crime: A New Form of Authoritarianism" in: Russian 
Organized Crime: The New Threat?, ed. Phil Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, pp. 122-38. 



51 



mafia, but everyone in Russia is extremely afraid of them, and they have all 
the power. They don't even have to say they will kill you. You just know 
it. 29 (Shelley, 1997, p. 122) 

While traditional Soviet authoritarianism, excluding clandestine KGB operations, 
was confined primarily within the national boundaries, the repressive force of organized 
crime ignores all geographical borders. Thus, it is a transnational form of autocratic 
control. This non-state authoritarianism evolved from old existing structures. 

Since governments in political transition phases often display weak power 
structures, the resulting power vacuum can be exploited by illegitimate structures In the 
successor states of the former Soviet Union (FSU), the collapse of existing state 
institutions has transferred former powerful individuals from the state to the private 
control apparatus. Additionally, the government itself is subject to the corrupting influence 
of organized crime groups, with the subordinate legitimate structures being complicit in 
the organized criminal activity and failing to protect their citizens. 

Exploiting the weakness of declining state control and weakening power 
structures, organized crime replaces state-authoritarianism through its own form of social, 
political and economic control. In their global pattern of operations, transnational criminal 
groups also attempt to undermine the administration of justice in foreign countries. 
Members of law enforcement agencies in various European countries have been bribed by 
criminal groups from the FSU to ignore alien smuggling, drug trafficking or prostitution 
rings. Law enforcers investigating criminal groups have also been subject to intimidation 
attempts. (Shelley, 1997, p. 135) 

As Table 3-3 below shows, both traditional Soviet and organized crime based 
authoritarianism affect all aspects of society including economic relations, political 
structures, legal institutions, citizen-state relations and human rights. (Shelley, 1997, 
p. 123) 



29 Statement of a Russian witness in an American legal proceeding concerning an alleged Russian 
organized crime figure. 



52 



Table 3-3. — Soviet Authoritarianism vs. Authoritarianism of 
Post-Soviet Organized Crime 



Soviet Authoritarianism 



Authoritarianism of Post-Soviet 
Organized Crime 



Ruling 



1 . Based on concept of Soviet state 



2. Centralized governmental control 
through communist system 

3. Controlled elections 



1 . Not state based: predicated on demise of nation 
state or complicit with compromised 
governmental agencies 

2. Decline of centralized control; replacement by 
regional leaders beholden to or complicit with 
organized crime 

3. Infiltration of organized crime into state 
structures undermines democracy and results in 
impotent state. Presidential, executive and 
legislative branches unable and unwilling to 
protect citizens' interests. 



State 
Relation to 
its Citizens 



1. Subordination of citizens' 
interests to the state and 
Communist Party 

2. Compulsion of the citizen by 7 state 
legal system 

3. Citizens often mobilized for 
state's objectives 

4. State limited civil society and 
denied human rights 

5. State provided public services 



1 . Corruption of state institutions undermines 
integrity of government 



2. Abnegation of state's obligations to its citizens 



3. State cannot protect its citizens or residents 
from global reach of organized crime groups 

4. Subversion of emergent civil society 



1 . Control by Soviet state over film, 
art, mass media and scholarship 
through Glavlit (censorship 
authority) and criminal law 



Ideological 
control 



1 . Intimidation of journalists, domestically and 
internationally 



2. Acquisition of mass media to circumscribe 
news coverage 

3. Lawsuits against foreign media who seek to 
disclose organized crime activity 

4. Intimidation of scholars 



53 



Table 3—3. (continued) 





Soviet Authoritarianism 


Authoritarianism of Post-Soviet 
Organized Crime 


Economy 


1 . Under communist system, state 
ownership or control of economy 

2. State domination of labor force or 
labor unions 

3. Disorganized areas not immune 
from organized crime 

4. Use of economic levers to control 
other states 

5. Strategic economic alliances with 
other authoritarian states 

6. Government guarantees business 
transactions 


1. Organized crime groups control large sectors 
of economy at home base; invest 
transnationally 

2. Create new monopolies 

3 . Exploit privatization process of state 
economies to gain control of key industries 

4. Intimidation of labor force and co-optation of 
labor unions 

5. Strategic alliances with crime groups for 
economic objectives 

6. Organized Crime guarantees business 
transactions in absence of state protection 


Legal 
System 


1. Legal system serves interests of 
state or controlling Party elite 
rather than welfare of citizenry 

2. State maintains monopoly on 
forces of coercion and 
deployment of violence 

3. Absence of independent judiciary 
and executions 

4. Extensive reliance on penal 
institutions and executions 

5. State sponsored violence remains 
unpunished 


1. Weakened state legal system serves interests of 
organized crime rather than state or citizens 

2. Privatization of forces of state coercion to 
organized crime 

3 . Corruption by organized crime undermines law 
enforcement, judiciary in successor states and 
in foreign countries 

4. State penal institutions are rendered ineffective 
because of domination by organized crime 
groups 

5. Violence perpetrated by organized crime 
remains unprosecuted and unpunished by the 
state 



Source: Louise I. Shelley, "Post-Soviet Organized Crime: A New Form of Authoritarianism", in: Russian Organized 
Crime: The New Threat? , ed. Phil Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, pp.124-26. 

While the authoritarian threat posed by post-Soviet organized crime does not at 
present directly affect international security, the increasing wealth and power of organized 
criminal groups have the potential to seriously impede the transition to democracy in 



54 



Russia and other states of the FSU John Deutch, former CIA Director, believes "...that 
criminal groups constitute [already] a political force that actively opposes the 
strengthening of laws and institutions that could fight crime effectively" 30 The collusion 
of corrupt legitimate structures with criminal groups makes the citizenry vulnerable to 
intimidation. Individuals who live in fear in turn may welcome the resurrection of 
authoritarian controls and the enhancement of state power in the name of fighting 
organized crime. (Shelley, 1997, p. 136) 

Following the principle of action and reaction this development in turn is likely to 
intensify the efforts of the antagonist to stay in or even gain more power. In this process it 
is imaginable that thanks to the efforts of organized crime, more resilient legitimate 
structures could be subjugated to terrorist activities in the attempt to break any remaining 
resistance. Given the already existing amalgamation of legitimate and illegitimate 
structures, the subsequent emergence of a criminal state, now, however, also an actor on 
the international stage, cannot be excluded. 

In an alternative scenario, organized crime could seek to exploit the discontent of 
other powerful actors, for example the military or parts thereof, who tend to oppose the 
path of democratization. This course of events, however, seems less likely since the 
liberties which come along with democracy and a free—market economy are basically what 
organized crime tends to exploit. 

2. Economic Aspects 

The rapid collapse of the Soviet system and central planning offered 
opportunities for... an] underlying corruption to bloom, for criminals to 
reap much higher profits. . . . Many members of the former Soviet elite were 
in a good position, for example to illegally profit from the large transfer of 
wealth to the private sector. The opening of borders allowed criminals to 
transfer capital overseas, increasing the opportunities for profit and 
diverting revenue from the Russian economy... Continued heavy 
involvement of the government offers new opportunities for official 



30 Statement given in a hearing before the Committee on International Relations, 104 th Congress, 2 nd 
Session , April 30, 1996, pp.45-46. 



55 



corruption, particularly since officials often go unpaid for long periods and 
must find a source of income. 31 

Corruption and extensive crime are the forces that undermine the political as well 
as the economic stability of Russia and threaten its continued progress towards democracy 
and market economics. In post-communist Russia a close correlation has developed 
between the political weight of an office and its importance in the redistribution of former 
collectively owned property -a most fertile ground for corruption. These acts of 
corruption go beyond the 'ordinary' abuse of power, and begin to resemble the criminal 
underworld. Since 1996, each year about 20,000 crimes connected with corruption are 
officially recorded, but experts believe this figure to be less than one percent of the real 
scale of corruption. Operatives of the Ministry of Interior (MVD) assume that almost 
every organized crime group has its own high-ranking official who provides protection. In 
remote areas one public servant on the pay-roll of a crime group is sometimes more 
powerful than the authorities in Moscow. This situation is made possible because of 
Russia's centralized presidential system. (Voronin, 1997, p. 54) 

President Yeltsin has already accused officials of turning a blind eye to the criminal 
penetration of the MVD, the very organization that is in charge of fighting organized 
crime. Officials of the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) say that there is meanwhile a 
"lethal mix of transnational criminal activity and intelligence services in Russia" (U.S. 
Congress, Hearing, January 31, 1996, p. 57). A report of the German Intelligence Service 
{Bundesnachrichtendienst, BND) shares this analysis by stating that 

The influence of organized crime on certain individuals or groups in the 
special services has become in part so strong that one should talk of a kind 
of mutual infiltration: Mafia and secret agents use the symbiosis of their 
relationships to their mutual advantage. (Shpakov, Moscow News , October 
16, 1997) 



31 Former CIA Director John Deutch in a statement given in a hearing before the Committee on 
International Relations, 104 th Congress, 2 nd Session, April 30, 1996, pp A5-46. 



56 



The BND comes to the conclusion that even the top section of President Yeltsin's 
staff is involved in illegal contacts with the Russian mafia: cooperation with "...mafia 
structures," the document says, takes place "...with the obvious support of the Russian 
government." (Shpakov, Moscow News , October 16, 1997) 

Today around 8,000 criminal formations, with an overall membership estimated at 
120,000, are active in Russia. Many of these groups operate in loose criminal 
confederations, perpetrating crimes such as extortion, drug dealing, bank fraud, money 
laundering, arms trafficking, export of contraband oil and metals, and smuggling of nuclear 
material and technology. In 1 995 the shadow turnover of capital in Russia reached 45 
trillion rubles -equal to almost 25 percent of the gross national product (GNP). One-fifth 
of the strategic raw material that was exported in 1995 took the form of contraband. As of 
1996, Russian organized crime controlled an estimated 50,000 companies and accounted 
for approximately 40 percent of Russia's GNP.(Voronin, 1997, pp. 53-54; Dunn, 1997, 
p.63) 

Russia is being systematically plundered, ransacked by a criminal class which is 
working directly in hand with elements of the political forces that are running the country. 
(CSIS, 1994, p. 110) 

The Russian government's official statistics also reflect a sobering perspective on 
criminal penetration of the economy. According to Yeltsin administration officials, 70-80 
percent of private businesses are paying extortion fees worth 10-20 percent of their total 
retail sales. The Ministry of Internal Affairs estimates that criminal groups and businesses 
export approximately $1.5 billion a month to Western bank accounts. (U.S. Congress, 
Hearing on April 30, 1996, p.46) 

Even MVD officials estimate that more than 40,000 enterprises were either 
established or are now controlled by criminal organizations. Large mafia empires control 
whole spheres of the economy and industrial production. Penetration of the economy is 
increasing, and banks and commercial structures are gradually becoming part of the system 
for laundering criminal capital. Against this background, it can be assumed that the 



57 



shooting of prominent bankers and businessmen -the Russian version of 'hostile take- 
over'- is certain to continue. 32 (Voronin, 1997, p. 54) 

In addition, organized crime is exploiting Russia's military-industrial complex, 
gaining not only access to weapons and technology, but also recruiting valuable talent 
among military specialists, university-trained scientists, and former police officials. 

3. Summary 

The political and economic aspects of organized crime constitute a force that 
undermines the political as well as the economic stability of Russia and threatens its 
continued progress towards stable, free-market democracy. The collusion between parts 
of the former political nomenclature and economically powerful crime groups represents a 
new form of authoritarianism. Unlike Soviet authoritarianism, which affected citizens 
within its borders or sphere of influence, the international reach of post-Soviet organized 
crime intimidates individuals inside and outside the confines of the FSU. The exploitation 
of Russia's military-industrial complex adds a further aspect to a significant threat that can 
no longer be seen as a mere Russian domestic issue. 

C. MAJOR RUSSIAN MAFIA GANGS 33 

According to the MVD, the number of mafia gangs in Russia has grown from 785 
in 1990 to more than 8,000 by mid- 1996. The estimated overall number of active 
members ranges from 120,000 to more than three million people, depending on the 
source. Ruthlessness and propensity to use violence, as well as the ability to operate 



32 For example, on July 28, 1997, the director of the North Western River Shipping company. E. 
Khokhlov, and his deputy N. Yevstafev were gunned down in a Leningrad Port office building. 
Economically-motivated crime and violence in St. Petersburg included 30 killings in the period fall 
1993 - summer 1994 (IEWS Russian Regional Report, vol.2, No.44, December 18, 1997). 

33 The documentation on Russian mafia gangs provided in this subsection is predominantly based on a 
research conducted by Guy Dunn. Dunn in turn derived this information from a series of confidential 
briefings with well-placed sources, such as Russian and international policemen, MVD officials, 
prosecutors, regional and city officials, and 'business personnel'. (See Dunn, 1997. p.64). 



58 



abroad are the salient characteristics of Russian organized crime. Although most of the 
traditional mafia organizations increasingly act on a transnational scale, two factors seem 
particularly to favor the spreading of Russian crime groups. First, the fact that the Red 
Army was stationed in many European countries enabled gangs to make contacts that later 
could be exploited when they turned to criminal activities. Second, Russian emigre 
communities exist across the world, and organized criminal groups tend to flourish when 
they can melt into close-knit ethnic minorities in an otherwise alien society. Today, an 
estimated 1 1 Russian mafia gangs operate in more than 44 countries worldwide. While 
the number of more than 8,000 Russian mafia gangs is impressive and alarming at the 
same time, only about 30 of these gangs are truly large organizations with a broad range 
of operations and logistics. These gangs which are capable of conducting complex 
operations and are increasingly operating abroad, constitute the most significant threat. 
(Dunn, 1997, pp. 63-64) 

1. Structure and Characteristics of Russian Mafia Gangs 

Although there is no set structure for Russian crime groups, knowledgeable 
sources within the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) have provided a 
model of an organizational pattern that larger groups seem to follow. 34 The principle of 
this structure, as shown in Figure 3-1-1 below, is to minimize contact with other cells that 
could lead to the identification and compromise of the entire organization. 

Elite Group - consists of the leader and his deputies/aids who are 
specialized, for example as strategists, economic advisers, banking 
consultants, industry specialists, and in turn have excellent contacts in 
industry, national and local governments, etc. 

Support Group - is responsible for the organization of specific crimes 



34 The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network was established by the U.S. Department of the Treasury 
in April 1990 as a multi-agency, multi-source financial intelligence and analytical network. (U.S. 
Congress, Hearing Before the Committee on International Relations, 104 th Congress, 2 nd Session, 
April 30, 1996. 



59 



Security Group - is responsible for physical and operational security 



Working units - consist of the ordinary criminals grouped in street gangs, 
which conduct traditional mafia crimes as extortion, smuggling, control of 
prostitution, theft, burglary, kidnapping, etc. 



A 



Elite Group 
Leadership, Management, 
Organization and Ideology 



Support Group 
Organization of 
Specific Crime 



'obshak' 



Security Group 

Security and 
Counter Intelligence 



Working Units 

Burglars, Thieves, Prostitutes, 

Extortionists 

Street Gangs 



Figure 3-1-1. — Structure of Russian Mafia Gangs -I- 

Source. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in: Hearing Before the Committee on International 
Relations. U.S. Congress, 104 th Congress, 2 nd Session, April 30, 1996, p.92. 

This structure enables the organization to conduct and control complex operations 
in different places simultaneously. The elite leadership is buffered by support and security 
personnel from the working units who are committing the crimes. Street operators are not 
privy to the identity of their leadership. Strategy and planning is done only at the top of 
the pyramid in order to minimize the risk of detection. According to law enforcement 
sources, this structure resembles the organizational pattern of old style Soviet criminal 
enterprises. Thus it might be subject to change as organized crime changes in the future. 
(U.S. Congress, Hearing, April 30, 1996). 



60 



An alternate structure is provided by Dunn Shown in Figure 3-1-2 below, the 
structure follows a pattern similar to that of large military staffs or industrial enterprises. 





Leader 




































Deputy 
Strategy 


Economic 
Adviser 


Banking 
Consultant 


Counter- 
intelligence 


Security 




Drug 
Smuggling 


Other 






















Team 
Leader 


Team 
Leader 


Team 
Leader 


Team 
Leader 


Team 
Leader 




Team 
Leader 


Team 
Leader 




Soldiers 




Soldiers 




Soldiers 




Soldiers 



Figure 3-1-2. — Structure of Russian Mafia Gangs -II- 

Source: Guy Dunn, "Major Mafia Gangs in Russia", in: Russian Organized Crime: The New Threat?, ed. Phil 
Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, p.64. 

This type of organization provides the same advantages as the one described above 
but allows for an even greater diversification of activities. The capabilities of both 
organizational patterns are further increased through the availability of latest technology. 
Additionally, most of the major gangs share the following characteristics: 

• a hierarchy enforced by strict disciplinary sanctions 

• restricted membership, sometimes based on family or ethnic ties 

• tight secrecy and compartmentalization 

• the uninhibited use of intimidation and violence (Dunn, 1997, pp. 64-65) 

2. Major Gangs in Moscow 

Out of the estimated 150 mafia gangs that are operating in the Russian capital, 20 
are well-armed, relatively large organizations. Only six of these, the three Chechen gangs, 
and the Solntsevskaya, Podolskaya and 21 st Century Association organizations, wield real 



61 



power. As in ordinary business, increasing sophistication and concentration of efforts is 
the key to remaining competitive. This accounts for the small number of powerful 
organizations. Gang activities have shifted from extortion to financial and other business 
operations, which are only an option for a small number of resource-rich gangs. The three 
Chechen gangs are closely linked together, and maintain a single obshak, -pooled financial 
resources that are used for paying lawyers, bribing officials, and for supporting imprisoned 
members. (Dunn, 1997, pp. 65-66) 

Among the other major mafia gangs, the Slav groups {Solntsevskaya and 
Podolskaya) are the natural enemies of the Chechen gangs. In 1990-91, the Slav gangs 
waged war against the Chechens. The clash between the two sides continues. Killings in 
recent years, however, were over battles to win contracts and influence, rather than the 
result of a strategic war. The Solntsevskaya constitutes the largest single gang in the 
country, and is also extremely well armed. 

Additionally, there are about 20 important smaller gangs operating in Moscow, 
which are very rich by Russian standards, but cannot compete with the larger Slav or 
Chechen organizations. Their size ranges between 50 and 100 members. During major 
conflicts, survival of these gangs requires coalition with one or the other large gang. 
(Dunn, 1997, p. 70) 

Table 3-^1 below gives an overview of the major mafia gangs in the Russian 
capital. 



62 



Table 3-^1. — Major Gangs in Moscow 



Name 


Members 


Main Operations 


International Operations 


'Chechen 




banking, prostitution, 


Germany, Austria, Poland, 


Connection' 


1,500 to 3,000 


car smuggling, 


Turkey, the Netherlands, 


(consists of three 




illegal oil deals, 


Hungary, Jordan, former 


gangs below) 




drug smuggling 


Yugoslavia, the United Kingdom 






counterfeiting, 








drug smuggling. 








extortion, kidnapping 


as member of the 


Tsentralnaya 


included above 


prostitution, 


Chechen Connection 






financial fraud, 


(see above) 






arms smuggling, 








'import/export' 








domestic and 


Northern Caucasus, 


Ostankinskaya 


included above 


international road 


as member of the 






haulage, extortion, drug 


Chechen Connection 






and arms smuggling 


(see above) 






legal and illegal car trade, 


as member of the 


Avtomobil'naya 


included above 


including 'import/export', 


Chechen Connection 






theft, smuggling and sale 


(see above) 






of cars, extortion 








banking, investment, 


Germany, Austria, Poland, Belgium, 






car smuggling, extortion, 


U.S., Czech Republic, Italy, 






retail, prostitution, 


Hungary, the UK; has links with 


Solntsevskaya 


3,500 to 4,000 


drug production, 


Cali cartel and transits cocaine 






smuggling and 


through Russia into Europe and the 






distribution, kidnapping 


U.S. 






prostitution, drug and 








arms smuggling, money 


mainly the Netherlands, 


Podolskaya 


500 


laundering, extortion, 


'import/export' throughout the 






kidnapping, 


world, tries to extend its operations 






financial fraud, 


in the U.S. 






'import/export' 








extortion, kidnapping, 








prostitution, active in 




21" Century 




business arena including 


operates in seven countries, mainly 


Association 


1,000 


oil and insurance, 


in Europe, and the U.S. 


(umbrella 




controls nationwide as 




organization) 




many as 100 companies, 
has opened charities for 
military personnel 





Source: Guy Dunn, "Major Mafia Gangs in Russia", in: Russian Organized Crime: The New Threat 9 , ed. Phil 
Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, pp.65-67. 



63 



3. Major Gangs in St.Petersburg 

St. Petersburg is generally considered the stronghold of Russian organized crime. 
As a busy port lying in close proximity to western Europe, its strategic position favors all 
kinds of smuggling operations. As Table 3-5 below shows, four major gangs are operating 
in and out of St.Petersburg. (Dunn, 1997, p. 72) 

Table 3-5. — Major Gangs in St.Petersburg 



Name 


Members 


Main Operations 


International Operations 


Tambovskaya 


1,500 

(twice as much 

in a loose 

association) 


arms dealing, car trading, 
protection rackets, drug 
production and 
distribution, kidnapping 
prostitution, contraband 
alcohol production, oil 
business 


Germany, the Netherlands, Poland. 
Finland, Sweden; may be involved 
in smuggling of illegal immigrants; 
operations abroad are believed to 
include trade in nuclear materials 


Malishevskaya 


1,500 to 2,000 

(up to 5,000 

drifters') 


prostitution, arms dealing 
drug production, 
extortion, abduction 
car dealing 


Germany, Baltic States, Finland, 
Sweden, Norway; may be involved 
in smuggling of illegal immigrants 


Kazan'skaya 


1,000 to 1,500 


extortion, car theft and 
trading, drug and arms 
dealing, kidnapping, 
prostitution 


unknown 


Vorkutinskaya 


2,000 


drug production and 
dealing, prostitution, 
arms dealing, 
car smuggling, 
kidnapping, protection 
racketeering, contraband 
alcohol and tobacco 
production 


Finland, Sweden, Germany 



Source. Guy Dunn, "Major Mafia Gangs in Russia", in: Russian Organized Crime: The New Threat?, ed. Phil 
Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, pp.72-74. 

The smaller gangs in St.Petersburg tend to have a couple of hundred members, and 
normally specialize in operations such as extortion, kidnapping and drug dealing. One of 
them, the Kavkaz gang, specializes in the kidnapping of children. The smaller gangs do not 
operate independently, but rather pay tribute to one of the larger organizations. The major 
ethnic gangs are the Chechen, Azerbaijan, and Dagestan gangs. (Dunn, 1997, p. 74) 



64 



4. Major Gangs in Yekaterinburg 

Since 1 996 the situation of organized crime in Yekaterinburg has degenerated into 
total anarchy, as a result of the weakening of the two main gangs, Uralmashskaya and 
Tsentralnaya. Now, a far greater number of smaller gangs is striving for influence in 
Yekaterinburg's underworld, causing an almost permanent full-scale gang war. (Dunn, 
1997, p. 74) -Table 3-6 below shows the major gangs operating in Yekaterinburg. 

Table 3-6. — Major Gangs in Yekaterinburg 



Name 


Members 


Main Operations 


International Operations 


Uralmashskaya 


50 

(up to 200 

if necessity 

arises) 


arms smuggling, banking, 
economic crime, real 
estate manipulations, 
smuggling of raw 
materials and metals, 
nuclear material 
smuggling, 
prostitution 


Germany, Poland, China, Cyprus 
United States 


Tsentral'naya 


unknown 


prostitution, drugs and 
arms smuggling 
extortion, gambling 
metal smuggling 


Hungary ('legitimate business') 
Belgium 


Afghantsy 


15 to 20 

(200 drifters; 

mostly Afghan 

war veterans) 


extortion, car trading, 
drug smuggling, 
petrol selling 


Afghanistan (drug smuggling) 



Source: ,Guy Dunn, "Major Mafia Gangs in Russia", in: Russian Organized Crime: The New Threat?, ed. Phil 
Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, pp.74-76. 

5. Major Gangs in Vladivostok 

Until 1992, Vladivostok, a major naval base, was closed to almost all foreigners 
and had a strict entry-exit regime for Russians. Loosening of this control in 1992 led to 
the influx of criminal groups, hoping to take advantage of the new lax border regulations 
with China. While Vladivostok's mafia gangs are still in a phase of consolidation, they 
have a reputation for using excessive violence. (Dunn, 1997, p. 77) -Table 3-7 provides an 
overview of the major mafia gangs. 



65 



Table 3-7. — Major Gangs in Vladivostok 



Name 


Members 


Main Operations 


International Operations 






arms and drug smuggling 




Mikho's Gang 


100 


prostitution, extortion, 






(200-250 


smuggling of clothes and 


China, Macao, Japan 




drifters) 


electronic goods from 
China 








prostitution, 




Kostenava 


60 


drug production and 


China 




(up to 150 


smuggling, trading in 






drifters) 


cars and electrical 
appliances 




kovolskava 


<20 


unknown, possibly arms 


unclear, possibly connection to 






dealing 


Japanese Yakuza 






extortion, prostitution, 




Makorskaya 


40 to 60 


contract killing, 


unknown, contract killing suspected 




(mostly martial 


arms dealing 






arts experts) 







Source. Guy Dunn, "Major Mafia Gangs in Russia", in: Russian Organized Crime: The New Threat?, ed. Phil 
Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, pp.77-80. 

In addition, smaller groups from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan are 
beginning to set up in Vladivostok. 

6. Summary 

While the number of more than 8,000 Russian mafia gangs is impressive and 
alarming at the same time, only about 30 of these gangs are truly large organizations with 
a broad range of operations and logistics. Today, an estimated 110 Russian mafia gangs 
operate in more than 44 countries worldwide. Strongholds of large mafia groups with 
international reach are Moscow and St. Petersburg. These groups are characterized by a 
complex structure that enables them to conduct sophisticated operations on an 
increasingly worldwide stage. Moreover, several of the larger organizations are already 
cooperating with other mafia groups such as the Yakuza, the Colombian Cartels or the 
Italian Mafia. 



66 



D. RUSSIAN MAFIA ACTIVITY ABROAD 

In June 1 996, the MVD claimed that approximately 1 1 Russian mafia gangs were 

conducting operations abroad, either in cooperation with foreign partners, or 

independently Most of these international sections of the larger organizations are 

permanently based abroad. Together, they encompass about 7,000 members. Russian 

organized groups are believed to operate in more than 44 countries, including: 

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, 
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, 
Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the 
United Kingdom, the United States and former Yugoslavia. (Dunn, 1997, 
p.81) 

1. Activity in European Countries 

Although nearly every European country is affected by Russian organized crime, 
the following brief survey will focus on those countries which are most affected. 

a. Austria 

In Austria, Russian gangs specialize in prostitution and economic crimes. 
More sophisticated groups also exploit Austria's lax banking and tax laws. This accounts 
for the Solntsevskaya gang's decision to base its western European headquarters in 
Vienna. Other Russian organizations, such as the shadowy business XXXX, which initially 
made its money smuggling metals out of Russia, and now launders its money through 
Austrian banks, are also headquartered in Vienna. 35 In November 1995, Austrian 
authorities clamped down on XXXX and deported 70 of its 80 employees. (Dunn, 1997, 
p.81) 



35 Although for reasons of confidentiality Dunn does not identify it, it is the assumption of the author of 
this thesis, that XXXX in fact is the 'Nordex-Corporation' (see subsection E. of this chapter). 



67 



b. Belgium 

The activities of Russian mafia groups in Belgium concentrate on 
prostitution, pornography rackets, and economic crimes. Though Russian gangs also 
operate in Brussels, their major area of operations is Antwerp, the city's port which has a 
reputation for being a major smuggling base for transatlantic operations. The number of 
ethnic Russians in Antwerp has increased in such a manner that Falcoplein Square in its 
center has been dubbed 'Red Square'. (Dunn, 1997, p. 82) 

a Cyprus 

The Mediterranean island is a popular location for money laundering, as 
well as a destination for capital from Russia. By 1996 about $1.3 billion was estimated to 
arrive in Cyprus from Russia every month . 36 With the main attraction being Cyprus' 
double-taxation agreement with Russia, an estimated 2,000 Russian companies operate in 
the country. In late 1995, a wave of bomb attacks in Limassol was believed to be partly 
connected to increasing rivalry between Russian gangs. The bombings, which killed 
several people, followed the deportation of several Russians from Cyprus in the previous 
months for extorting money from compatriot businesses. (Dunn, 1997, p. 82) 

tL Czech Republic 

The Czech Republic suffers from the problem that Russian gangs have used 
links forged during the Soviet years to set themselves up in Prague. Consequently, some 
3,000^4,000 organized criminals are believed to be operating in the Czech capital. The 
gangs in Prague tend to concentrate on drug and arms trafficking, extortion and protection 
rackets, armed robbery and money laundering. Approximately 70 percent of drugs 
entering Germany come through Prague. Furthermore, Russian gangs prefer Prague as 



36 Since the activities of the Russian 'companies' are extremely profitable for Cyprus, the country has 
refused a request from the Russian Central Bank (RCB) to consult it before granting licenses to 
Russian companies (Dunn, 1997, p.82). 



68 



their base in Central Europe, and occasionally use the city as their meeting point The 
gangs in the Czech capital have great power and access to officials. In December 1995, 
Vladimir Nechanicky, head of the Interior Ministry's internal investigations department 
(Ministry inspectorate), was dismissed for alleged links with Russian organized crime 
groups. He apparently tipped off leading Russian mafia leaders that were to be arrested 
during a planned visit to Prague in May 1995. 37 (Dunn, 1997, p. 82) 

e. Germany 

About 20 out of the 50 Russian criminal gangs that are believed to operate 
in Germany come from the Moscow region. Many members of the Russian gangs were 
stationed in the former GDR during the Cold War, and thus already had contacts there. 
Their main activities include prostitution, car theft, extortion, drug related offenses, 
currency counterfeiting and the trade in arms and radioactive materials. One-third of all 
crimes committed in Germany is estimated to be the work of Russian criminals. According 
to the German Federal Police (BKA), at least 10,000 Russian women are forced to work 
as prostitutes throughout the country. Strongholds are cities in eastern Germany, Berlin, 
Frankfurt/Main, and Hamburg. (Dunn, 1997, p. 83) 

/ Hungary 

In 1991 more than 1,000 Russians deserted from the Red Army during the 
last week before its withdrawal from Hungary. Many turned to criminal operations. As a 
consequence, Russian mafia activity is relatively high in Budapest, where gangs tend to 
use contacts fostered when the Red Army had bases there. Activities concentrate on the 
theft and smuggling of cars, prostitution and protection racketeering. Larger gangs in 



37 In another incident, a leading Russian mafia member was released from Prague's Ruznye prison in late 
October 1995 after authorities were fooled by a bogus fax from the district court demanding his 
immediate release. The fax bore both the court's official seal and the correct evidence number (Dunn, 
1997, p.82). 



69 



Budapest are increasingly specializing in economic crime, laundering money for example 
by buying up Hungarian companies in the privatization program. (Dunn, 1997, p. 83) 

g. Italy 

At least six Russian mafia gangs are believed to operate in Italy. Their 
activities include robbery, arms and drug smuggling, economic crimes and extortion. Some 
of these operations demonstrated cooperation with Italian mafia groups. 38 Russian gangs 
are most powerful in Milan, where they concentrate on economic crimes. (Dunn, 1997, 
p.84) 

h. Netherlands 

The city of Amsterdam is the stronghold of Russian mafia gangs. 
Exploiting the liberal drug laws, Russian gangs use the Netherlands as a transit point for 
drug trafficking. Other activities include prostitution, pornography, and the smuggling of 
stolen cars. As elsewhere in western Europe, the more sophisticated criminal organizations 
concentrate on economic crimes. Consequently, the level of money laundering and 
counterfeiting is high. Like Belgium, the Netherlands serve as a transit-base for 
transatlantic operations. (Dunn, 1997, p.84) 

I Poland 

Problems with Russian organized crime in Poland resemble those of 
Hungary and the Czech Republic. Additionally, Russian mafia gangs are responsible for an 
extreme high level of car theft in Poland. The most popular vehicles are expensive German 
makes (BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi) or four-wheel-drive vehicles. On average, a 
Mercedes driven in Warsaw is likely to be stolen within three months Armed car-jacking 
by Russian gangs has also increased dramatically. In January 1996 alone, at least 20 



38 For example, Russian gangs smuggle arms to Italy, which in turn are smuggled to Bosnia- 
Herzegovina by the Italian mafia (Dunn, 1997, p.83). 



70 



foreigners were held up by heavily armed car-jackers while driving in and around Warsaw. 
Most of the stolen cars are taken to Russia. (Dunn, 1997, p. 84) 

k, Sweden 

Russian mafia gangs use Sweden as a main transit point for smuggling 
illegal immigrants into the West. Consequently, gangs have set up a large underground 
industry for false or stolen passports, visas and other travel documents. Up to $3,000 are 
charged for the smuggling of refugees, which has become known as 'criminal tourism'. 
(Dunn, 1997, p. 84) 

2. Activity in the United States 

As was mentioned earlier, organized criminal groups tend to flourish when they 
can melt into close-knit ethnic minorities in an otherwise alien society. Following this 
preference, Russian organized crime in the U.S. has spread in cities and states where there 
is a concentrated population of Russian emigres, such as New York City, Philadelphia, 
and parts of Florida and California. (Finckenauer, 1997, p. 139) 

During the 1970s and 1980s, approximately 200,000 Soviet citizens, many who 

were Russian-Jewish refugees, immigrated to the U.S. In this context, Daniel Lungren, 

Attorney General, California Department of Justice, testified in a hearing before the 

'Committee on International Relations', U.S. Congress, that 

Although the Soviet government liberalized its Jewish immigration policy, 
it is believed that under this guise the KGB also emptied their prisons of 
hard-core criminals, much like Cuban dictator Fidel Castro did during the 
Mariel boatlift of 1980. Many of these criminals are believed to have 
continued their life of crime in the United States. (Hearing, April 30, 1996) 

The flow of Soviet refugees further increased following the congressional 
enactment of the Lautenberg Amendment in November 1989, and the adoption of Russia's 
first law granting its citizens the right to immigrate and travel freely in May 1991. 39 



39 



The Lautenberg Amendment allows up to 50,000 Soviet refugees to enter the U.S. each year. 



71 



Although Russian organized criminal activity in the U.S. has been expanding for the past 
20 years, its most significant growth has occurred since 1991. 40 In August 1993, the FBI 
reported 15 organized crime groups with former Soviet ethnic origins which were 
operating in the U.S. According to law enforcement agencies, Russian organized crime 
networks have been identified to operate in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, 
Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Seattle. In California, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San 
Diego, and Sacramento are cities affected by Russian organized crime. Networks 
operating in the U.S. often are interconnected, and have ties to organized crime groups in 
Russia. 

Figure 3-2 below gives an overview of types of crime committed by criminals from 
the FSU in the U.S. between 199 land 1995. 



% 60 




a Fraud 

■ Money Laundering 

□ Drugs 

□ Violent Crime 

■ Extortion 

□ Forgery 

D Racketeering 
D Prostitution 

■ Loan Sharking 



1991 - 95 



Figure 3-2. — Reported Russian-Emigre Criminal Activities, 1991-95 

Source. Rutgers University / Tri-State Project Law Enforcement Survey 4 ' 



40 According to an April 1986 report by the President's Commission on Organized Crime, the first 
indication of an element of organized crime among Russian immigrants came in 1975, when a gang 
from the Odessa region was discovered to be involved in major fraud. The Brighton Beach area of New 
York City became the hub for Russian organized crime during the mid-1970s. 

41 The 'Rutgers University/Tri-State Project Law Enforcement Survey' was conducted among 484 law 
enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. representing every level (federal, state, county, and local) of 



72 



Today, 28 states report Russian organized crime activity. These activities include 
extortion, prostitution, car theft, counterfeiting, credit card forgery, narcotics trafficking, 
insurance and medical fraud, fuel tax fraud, money laundering, and homicide 42 

Among the Russian organized crime groups, the Odessa Mafia is considered to be 
the largest organization operating on U.S. soil. Established between 1975 and 1981 in the 
Brighton Beach area of New York City, the Odessa Mafia spread to San Francisco and 
Los Angeles in the early 1980s. (U.S. Congress, Hearing on April 30, 1996, pp. 87-95) 

3. Summary 

With the disappearance of the geographic and political barriers which prevented 
the Soviet Union from participating in the global economy, business organizations from 
the FSU, both legal and illegal, have spread throughout the world. Particularly since 1991 
Europe and the U.S. have witnessed a remarkable increase in Russian organized crime. 
Whenever more sophisticated crime groups succeed in establishing themselves in a 
lucrative area, they tend to become involved in economic crimes and legal business as 
well. They are trying to cover up their illegal trails, and hence become harder targets. 
While most of the criminal activities encompass traditional mafia crimes, the nearly 
unrestricted access of Russian gangs to weapons technology of the FSU, including fissile 
material and WMD, leads to a significant increase of the proliferation threat. Therefore, 



government in every state. Participants were asked whether their agency had, within the previous five 
years, investigated, prosecuted or otherwise had contact with criminals from the FSU. Out of 484 
agencies, 167 replied with 'yes', 65 of the latter indicating that they considered Russian-emigre crime 
a major problem within their jurisdiction. Participants were also asked about the types of crimes 
committed within their area by Russian emigres. Since participants were allowed to report multiple 
types of crime within their jurisdiction, numbers in Figure 3-2 add up to more than 100 percent (Tri- 
State Joint Soviet-Emigre Organized Crime Project, Documentation, Appendix A p.215). 

42 To give two examples of the magnitude of the operations: Between March 1993 and September 1995, 
IRS undercover operations resulted in 10 major indictments, involving 136 defendants and $363.70 
million in evaded taxes. In California, Russian emigre Michael Smushkevich was the mastermind of a 
medical diagnostic testing scheme that generated $1 billion of fraudulent billings to medical insurance 
carriers (U.S. Senate, Hearing, May 15, 1996, pp. 152-53). 



73 



the final subsection of this chapter will focus on the 'nuclear dimension' of Russian 
organized crime. 

E. THE NUCLEAR DIMENSION 

The dramatic events of 1991 led to the resignation of the then-Soviet President 
Mikhail Gorbachev on December 25, and left 27,000 nuclear warheads and roughly 1,300 
tons of potentially lethal fissile material scattered across the FSU and thus vulnerable to 
theft or purchase by terrorists (Barry, 1997, p. 42). Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called the new 
Russia through which the thousands of nuclear warheads were moving after the 
disintegration of the Soviet Union an "...amalgam of former Party functionaries, quasi 
democrats, KGB officers and black market dealers, a dirty hybrid never before seen in 
world history." (Cockburn, 1997, p.38) 

Events which initially were assessed to further democratization, created at the 
same time a market of loose nukes. This situation would soon be exploited by organized 
crime. 

1. Basic Concerns 

While the individual cases of nuclear smuggling that came to the attention of the 
public appeared to be a fragmented, decentralized, and amateurish business, these 
activities arguably carve out new criminal trade channels and increase potential 
opportunities for proliferation of WMD. (Lee, 1997, p. 109) 

Given the intercepted nuclear smuggling to date, observers tend to argue that 
nuclear trafficking does not qualify as a particularly successful criminal enterprise, and that 
'legitimate' buyers are hard to identify 43 Additionally, economic considerations seem to 
lead to a low priority on procuring and brokering radioactive materials compared to the 



43 'Legitimate' buyers are buyers that are not linked to undercover police and/or intelligence operations. 
A 1995 report by the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) notes: "It has been confirmed that there is no market 
for illegal acquired nuclear materials in the Federal Republic - allegations that there are potential 
customers for radioactive materials have not been verified to date.'" (Lee, 1997, p. 109) 



74 



organized crime's core business, since it can take weeks or months to find customers. 
Finally, nuclear smuggling pathways identified and intercepted to date have been fairly 
predictable. Reflecting a 'supplier-in-search-of-a-buyer' dynamic, the vast majority of 
illegally-acquired material has moved westward from the FSU across the Baltic States and 
East-Central Europe to Germany. Considering, however, the existing preferences for 
strategic nuclear material and technology in states such as Iran, Iraq, or North Korea or 
among Middle Eastern terrorist groups, it is more likely that a well-functioning nuclear 
smuggling system might direct the flow of material southward and eastward to meet this 
demand. Thus, the visible face of nuclear trafficking seems to obscure some insidious 
realities. While the business itself appears to be highly unstable, it could easily develop in 
lethal and unpredictable ways. (Lee, 1997, pp. 109-1 1) 

In December 1992 Western intelligence officials warned that the potential for 
Mafia groups "...to access nuclear weapons is high and getting higher, and the potential 
political and economic payback from such access is growing." Early in 1993, in Brussels, 
the late Manfred Worner, then Secretary-General of NATO was briefed on the developing 
threat in an ". . extremely bleak assessment, emphasizing the fragmentation of the Russian 
Federation, the breakdown of civilian control of the military and erosion of the military's 
own cohesion as the material welfare of the officer corps deteriorates in tandem with the 
general collapse of Russian society." (Cockburn, 1997, pp. 61-62) 

Economic hardship and spreading corruption, together with decreasing moral and 
ethical scruples, constitute the background against which thefts by experienced insiders, 
especially those working in concert, pose a likely and ever-present threat, even at the 
most secure facilities 44 (Lee, 1997, p. 1 12) 



44 For example, at Moscow's Kurchatov Institute's Building 116, which, even by Western standards, 
boasts relatively up-to-date and stringent security procedures, managers estimate that a combination 
of only four people could accomplish a successful diversion of weapons-grade uranium from the 
facility. Building 116 holds a significant quantity of 95%-enriched uranium U-235, enough to make 
several nuclear weapons (Lee, 1997, p. 1 12). 



75 



Although little evidence exists that a Russian nuclear mafia or transnational 
criminal organization controls the smuggling of radioactive materials, the supply chains 
and mechanisms to transport such materials over long distances and across international 
boundaries are already in existence. These networks typically comprise loose assortments 
of former nuclear workers, small metals traders, opportunistic businessmen and petty 
smugglers. 45 Furthermore, nuclear trading channels at times are augmented by 
participation of former and current government officials, diplomats, intelligence operatives 
and military personnel. (Lee, 1997, pp.112— 13) 

Most of the cases of illegal weapons or technology sales are a result of the 
wrenching social change and malaise found throughout Russia's armed forces. Discipline 
and morale in the armed forces have declined catastrophically since the break-up of the 
Soviet Union. Even Russian officials are worried about conspiracies within nuclear armed 
units, especially in the far eastern sectors, where troop living conditions have dropped to 
unbearable levels. It is frightening to think that WMDs are guarded by unpaid and angry 
soldiers in a society where responsibility and morality are fast disappearing, and organized 
crime reigns supreme. (Cockburn, 1997, p. 250) 

In a statement given at a recent meeting of senior military personnel, General Igor 
Sergeyev, Russia's Defense Minister, admitted that crime in the armed forces has reached 
a critical level, with powerful organized criminal groups penetrating the army. Last year 
18,000 officers were charged with a range of criminal offenses. General Sergeyev said that 
"...the criminal situation in the armed forces is reaching a critical level, both in terms of 
the number of offenses and their gravity." (Lodge, The Times . March 1 1, 1998) 

In addition, the effectiveness of Russia's efforts against nuclear crime and 
proliferation is doubtful. A reorganization of the MVD and FSB Economic Crimes 
Departments in early 1995, for example, cut the number of officials assigned to nuclear 
smuggling investigation, redeploying them to the increasing number of conventional 



45 The trafficking chain involved in the 'Munich case', which will be discussed later, involved only seven 
persons. (Lee, 1997. p. 112). 



76 



organized crime cases. As one result, a network of small front companies set up by the 
Russian counterintelligence service in Moscow, Yekaterinburg and other cities in 1 994 to 
'buy', radioactive and dual-use metals was largely dismantled in 1995. As a consequence, 
FSB officials assume that Russian authorities are able to intercept only 30 to 40 percent of 
materials vanished from Russia's nuclear facilities. (Lee, 1997, p. 1 17) -Figure 3-3 below 
shows a hypothetical smuggling pathway for nuclear materials. 

PLANNING 

(employees or former employees 

of nuclear enterprises; outside 

criminal groups) 



IMPLEMENTATION 

(enterprise insiders: managers, 

scientists, equipment operators, 

security personnel) 



INTERIM STORAGE 

I 

TRANSPORT 



INTERMEDIATE BUYER OR BROKER 

(small metals traders, import-export firms) 



SMUGGLE ABROAD 

(couriers, professional smugglers, 
transport companies) 



FOREIGN INTERMEDIATE BUYER 

(trading firms, front companies, 
specialized distributors) 



TRANSPORT 



AGENTS OF END-USER STATES 
OR 'SOVEREIGN-FREE' ORGANIZATION 



DELIVERY TO FINAL DESTINATION 
Figure 3-3. — Trafficking Pathway for Nuclear Materials 

Source: Rensselaer Lee, "Recent Trends in Nuclear Smuggling", in: Russian Organized Crime: The New Threat? , ed. 
Phil Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, p.l 13. 



77 



The situation is worsened by a lack of effective cooperative mechanisms within the 
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to combat nuclear smuggling, although CIS 
countries have signed agreements or protocols to interdict drugs or weapons trafficking. 
For various reasons, some Russian officials view counter-smuggling efforts as a low 
national priority. For example, Ministry of Atomic Energy (MINATOM) officials have 
repeatedly and openly criticized undercover operations as 'provocation', arguing that they 
create an artificial market for nuclear substances. This assumption is wrong and must be 
seen against the background of MTNATOM's own rather dubious activities 46 In light of 
other evidence presented here, the Russian official posture on nuclear smuggling appears 
discouragingly shallow and short-sighted. (Lee, 1997, p. 11 7) 

2. Recent Trends 

In July 1993, 1.8 kilograms of 36%-enriched U-235 were stolen from a fleet 
depot at Andreeva Guba, 30 miles from the Norwegian border. Four months later another 
4.34 kilograms were stolen from the military port at Murmansk. Because the thieves were 
amateurs, in both cases the material was recovered by the Russian Navy. The investigator 
in both cases, Mikhail Kulik, reported to his superiors that "...organized crime groups 
have become more active in trying to obtain large consignments of radioactive material 
from the Northern Fleet. They contact the staff, study weak points of the system and the 
possibilities of large-scale thefts." 47 (Cockburn, 1997, p. 76) 

Table 3-8 below gives an overview on submarine fuel theft. 



46 Under Mikhailov, MINATOM itself has been involved in an at least dubious nuclear deal with Iran; 
For a thorough coverage see Cockburn . One Point Safe , chp.10. While President Yeltsin seems to be 
eager to tighten export controls for nuclear and arms technology, the Russian bureaucracy-, for various 
reasons, has not always effectively carried out his orders (Gordon. New York Times . March 9. 1998); 
see also fn 55 below. 

47 Mikhail Kulik is the Investigator of Particularly Important Cases at the military office of the public 
prosecutor of the Northern Fleet in Severomorsk' (Cockburn, 1997, p. 75) 



78 



Table 3-8. — Submarine Fuel Theft in Russia since 1993 



Location 


Date 


What was stolen 


U-235 
Enrich- 
ment 
Level 


Perpetrators 


Remarks 


Andreeva Gulf, 




2 fuel rods each weighing 






two officers also 


Zazimsk 


July 


4.5 kg (1.8 kg of HEU 




two sailors of 


accused but case 


Northern Fleet, 


1993 


extracted from one of the 


36% 


radiation safety 


against them 


Fuel Storage Site 




rods) 




services 


dismissed for 
lack of evidence 


Se\inorput 










material 


Polyarny-Rosta 










recovered and 


Northern Fleet 


Nov. 


3 fuel rods together 


approx. 


two captains, 


thieves 


fuel storage 


1993 


containing 4.34 kg of HEU 


20% 


one lieutenant 


apprehended six 


dump 










months after 
theft 


Severodvinsk 








4 local business- 




Sevmash 








men from 




(nuclear 


July 


3.5 kg of 


20% 


Severodvinsk 


trial in progress 


submarine 


1994 


Uranium Dioxide 


to 40% 


arrested; links to 




construction) 








workers in 
Sevmash plant 




Sevmash 










perpetrators 




Oct. 


fuel rods 


no 


no information 


arrested in 




1994 




info. 




Arkhangelsk; not 
charged 


Severodvinsk 










culprits stopped 


Zvezdochka 










before removing 


(maintenance 


July 


fuel rods 


no 


contract employees 


uranium from 


and repair of 


1995 




info. 


of Northern Fleet 


plant 


nuclear 










-case under 


submarines) 










investigation 


Zvezdochka 










criminals carried 
material out of 




Jan. 


fuel rods 


no 


contract employees 


Zvezdochkamash 




1996 




info. 


of Northern Fleet 


but were arrested 
in Severodvinsk 
-case under 
investigation 


Sovietskaya 










4.5 kg seized in 


Gavan' Pacific 








3 workers of 


Sovietskaya 


Fleet Fuel 


Jan 


fuel rods -at least 7 kg of 


40% 


facility 2 


Gavan', 2.5 kg 


Storage and 


1996 


HEU, 0.5 kg of zirconium, 


to 60% 


employees of 


in Kaliningrad 


Submarine 




somecesium-137 




export-import 


(part of same 


Repair Facility 








company in 
Kaliningrad 


theft)-case under 
investigation 



Source: Rensselaer Lee, "Recent Trends in Nuclear Smuggling", in: Russian Organized Crime: The New Threat?, ed. 
Phil Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1 997, pp. 1 1 8-1 9. 



79 



Between mid- 1993 and early 1996, at least six attempted diversions of highly 
enriched uranium (HEU) occurred in the Murmansk- Arkhangelsk area By January 1996 
this 'business' apparently had metastasized to the Pacific Fleet, where approximately seven 
kilograms of HEU were stolen from a base at Sovietskaya Gavan'. 

A military prosecutor attached to the Northern Fleet is investigating rumors of a 
'Murmansk-St. Petersburg gang' that is believed to offer Russian naval officers $400,000 
to $1,000,000 for each kilo of HEU that they obtain. Although the existence of such a 
criminal organization has not been confirmed, it can neither entirely be ruled out. (Lee, 
1997, p. 116) 

Obstruction of justice, although never officially proved, seems to have occurred 
more often than once. In 1993 a Russian Colonel who was vigorously pursuing three 
nuclear smuggling cases was forced to quit the MVD. When he laid a trap for a Hungarian 
in Moscow who had mcriminating evidence of how a specific nuclear deal was financed, 
the colonel entrusted this set-up exclusively to one MVD officer, two KGB men and one 
Interpol detective. Three hours after he had done so, the Hungarian vanished, his Moscow 
apartment stripped of any evidence. The colonel in turn was abruptly removed from the 
case. Fearing for his live, he abandoned the investigation. Most likely, the MVD itself had 
been 'bought and sold'. (Cockburn, 1997, p.97) 

In May 1994 Tengen, a little town in Baden Wuerttemberg, came to unexpected 
popularity when German police stumbled on the purest plutonium ever found on the 
market. While they were searching the house of Adolf Jaekle, a suspected counterfeiter, 
detectives found 5.6 grams of rare super-grade (99.75% pure) plutonium-239. Jaekle had 
stored the plutonium in his garage. The origin of this sample of top-quality bomb material 
was Arzamas-16, a Russian weapons design facility. Although the question of how Jaekle 
obtained this material and what he intended to do with it was never properly answered, 
two interesting pieces of evidence were found in his house. Jaekle had a bank account at 
the Golden Star Bank in Vienna, a bank owned by the government of North Korea. The 



80 



detectives also found two business cards belonging to Russian scientists working at the 
Kurchatov Institute in Moscow. (Cockburn, 1997, pp. 120-21) 

In June 1994 in Landshut, Germany, a first arrest was made for smuggling nuclear 
material. A sample of the seized material (0.8 gram of bomb-grade U-235; 87.7% 
enriched), was searched for 'fingerprints' to determine its origin. It bore the typical 
Russian signature. In the Landshut case, it was not the quantity of U-235 that was 
intriguing but the high quality 48 When on December 14, 1994 the Czech police 
confiscated 2.73 kilograms of highly enriched U-235 from the back seat of a car in Prague 
that had exactly the same 'fingerprints' as the Landshut sample, it became clear that 
nuclear smuggling had become a highly organized activity. The 87.7% enriched uranium 
had been smuggled out of Obninsk, a secret city 80 miles southwest of Moscow. One of 
the Russian smugglers caught in Prague was Alexandr Scerbinin, a former nuclear worker 
employed by a Czech import-export firm called 'Autotransport'. During his interrogation 
it became clear that it was not Czech justice which terrified him, but his masters back in 
Russia -another indication for the presence of organized crime. In the further course of 
the investigation it became clear to Czech officials that Russian organized crime was 
involved. Furthermore, given the reactions of their Russian counterparts, Czech officials 
concluded that at least the FSB, and possibly other sectors of the Russian government, 
had been penetrated by criminals. (Cockburn, 1997, pp.80, 91-96) 

When on August 10, 1994, the evening Lufthansa flight from Moscow touched 
down in Munich, German authorities knew that 363.4 grams of weapons-usable 
plutonium were on board. The bomb-grade material was hidden in a suitcase belonging to 
a Colombian doctor, Justiniano Torres Benitez, who had studied medicine in Moscow in 
the 1980s and who had after the collapse of the Soviet Union started to sell helicopters 



48 Other events at this time include: Bulgarian police finding capsules of radioactive material in a bus 
bound for Turkey; Turkish police arresting an Azeri national selling 750 grams of enriched uranium; 
Estonian police arresting a man who had buried three kilograms of U-238 under his garage; Turkish 
police claiming to have seized 12 kilograms of 'weapons-grade uranium' on July 19, 1994 (Cockburn, 
1997, p. 84). 



81 



and military supplies for a living. Mr. Torres, together with his 363.4 grams of plutonium, 
was arrested at Munich airport. According to German intelligence information the origin 
of the plutonium was Obninsk. (Cockburn, 1997, pp. 98-99) 

Although more recently no further nuclear smuggling operations have become 
public, it would be thoughtless to assume that there haven't been any. More appropriate is 
the assumption that smugglers have adapted and become smarter, and more cautious. 
Additionally, the political 'aftermath' for German intelligence and law enforcement 
agencies involved in the Munich plutonium case is more than likely to have had a counter- 
productive impact on future efforts to trap nuclear dealers 49 Finally, the direction of 
nuclear trafficking is likely to shift towards the potential market, hence south and 
eastwards. -Table 3-9 below provides an overview of important seizures of near-weapons 
grade nuclear materials in Russia and Central Europe from 1992 through 1994. 



Table 3-9. — Important Seizures of Near-Weapons Grade Materials in 
Russia and Central Europe, 1992-94 



Date 



Location 



Material Seized 



Possible Source 



Oct. 1992 Podolsk 1.50 kg of uranium 

(Railway Terminal) 90% Uranium 235 (U-23 5) 



Luch' Scientific Production 
Association 



Feb. 1994 St. Petersburg 



3.05 kg uranium dioxide 
90% U-235 



Elektrostar Machine Building 
Plant 



May 1994 Tengen-Weichs 5.60 g of 99.75% pure 

Baden Wuerttemberg plutonium 
Germany 



Arzamas- 16 (Kremlev) weapons 
design facility 



49 The Munich incident was considered a set-up operation of the BND. German intelligence and law 
enforcement agencies were accused of having intentionally endangered the passengers of the 
Lufthansa flight. The subsequent parliamentary investigation politicized this operation and further 
attempts to effectively trap nuclear dealers appear to be politically unacceptable. (Falkenrath. Richard 
A, Director of the Center for Science and International Affairs (CSIA), Harvard University, interview 
by Jiirgen Marks, FOCUS. 47/1997, November 17. 1997, pp.71-72). 



82 



Date 



Location 



Table 3-9. (continued) 



Material Seized 



Possible Source 



June 1994 Landshut 
Bavaria 
Germany 



0.80 g of 87. 7% 
U-235 



Experimental fast reactor, 
possibly at Obninsk Institute of 
Physics and Power Engineering 
(FEI) 



Aug 1994 Munich 
Bavaria 
Germany 



560 g of mixed oxide fuel with FEI 
363 g of plutonium, 
210goflithium-6 



Dec. 1994 Prague 

Czech Republic 



2.73 kg of 87.7% 
U-235 



Experimental fast reactor 
(chemically the same as Landshut 
seizures) 



Source: Rensselaer Lee, "Recent Trends in Nuclear Smuggling", in: Russian Organized Crime: The New Threat?, ed. 
Phil Williams, Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1997, p.l 10. 

Although as of 1995 the stories of nuclear smuggling no longer made the 
headlines, the illegal trade had all but stopped. 50 

Table 3-10 below gives an overview of additional seizures from April 1995 
through March 1996. 51 



50 According to unclassified information accessible via the homepage of the Bundespresseamt (BPA), the 
total number of cases related to nuclear trafficking were 163 in 1995, and 77 in 1996. Although these 
figures indicate a decrease of 53 percent, they are still worryingly high. According to the BND, 16 of 
the 1995 cases involved states, with definitive proof that in two of them the active buyers were Iran 
and Iraq. 

51 Although there have been no seizures of nuclear material in the U.S., two cases involved conspiracies 
to import radioactive material into the U.S. In New York, U.S. Customs Service arrested foreign 
nationals attempting to negotiate the sale of 45 tons of radioactive zirconium metal. The material was 
seized in Cyprus. In another case, Canadian Customs Service intercepted radioactive isotopes 
originating in Russia being smuggled into the U.S. through Canada (Jim E. Moody, Deputy Assistant 
Director, Criminal Investigative Division, FBI, Hearing before the Permanent Subcommittee on 
Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs U.S. Senate. 104 th Congress, 2 nd Session, 
May 15, 1996). 



83 



Table 3-10. — Seizures of Nuclear Materials, 1995-96 



Date 


Event 


April 4, 1995 


6 kg of U-235, U-238, radium, and palladium are found in a Kiev apartment which 
is occupied by an army lieutenant colonel and a warrant officer; seized material 
reportedly was of Russian origin 


November 10, 1995 


Hungarian police discovers 26 kg of radioactive material in the trunk of a car; three 
suspects are subsequently arrested 


November 7, 1995 


Iranian press reports that Iranian law enforcement arrested five Iranians with nine 
packets of uranium in Teheran and two other cities; no further details on origin, 
amount, or enrichment level were given 


December 28, 1995 


Russian FSB arrests nine members of a criminal organization in Novosibirsk and 
seizes radioactive material that is according to press reports identified as U-235 


January 17, 1996 


A Palestinian in Dubai, UAE offers to sell 3 kg of reportedly Russian-origin red 
mercury to a Lebanese- American businessman 


February 23, 1996 


Belarussian KGB seizes 5 kg of cesium-133 


March 14, 1996 


Polish police arrests a man for possession of uranium in Bielska-Biala 


March 17, 1996 


Tanzanian police arrests one individual and seizes a container of radioactive 
cesium. 



Source: Paul J Ljuba, "Organized Crime in Russia and United States National Security", Thesis, Naval 
Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA 1996, p.49. 

Beside the smuggling of weapons-grade substances, the trade with dual-use 
material constitutes an additional aspect of nuclear trafficking. In 1992-93 a large-scale 
transaction resulting in the shipment of 4.4 tons of beryllium from Yekaterinburg to 
Vilnius, Lithuania, provided evidence that established organized crime groups are involved 
in 'commercial' export of dual-use isotopes. 52 International markets for these substances 
are larger and better established than those for radioactive materials and criminal penalties 
for dual-use smuggling are less stringent. The above mentioned shipment reputedly was 
financed by Yuri Alekseyev, a Yekaterinburg businessman and political figure with close 



52 Nonfissile materials which are important in the construction of nuclear weapons, e.g.: hafnium, 
beryllium, zirconium. 



84 



ties to Yekaterinburg's criminal underworld. The Sinyaki, an important criminal group in 
Yekaterinburg, reputedly trades actively in strategic metals, including the dual-use 
categories. 53 Other observers believe that the largest Chechen gang in Moscow, the 
Tsentral 'naya group, occasionally also trades in nuclear materials. While in the past most 
stolen nuclear materials were moved westwards, the Chechen connection indicates a 
possible shift towards Russia's Southern tier. With the Caucasus and Central Asia being 
traditionally hotbeds of organized crime and narcotics trafficking, the region could easily 
develop into a wide-open transit zone for would-be proliferators. (Lee, 1997, pp. 1 14-15) 
Even if traffic in weapons-grade materials could be successfully contained, 
widespread availability of toxic radioactive materials constitutes a significant threat in 
itself. 54 In the hands of terrorists, even ordinary reactor waste can become a weapon. 
Combined in a dispersal device together with conventional explosives, a bombing attack 
might contaminate a wide area. Certain powdered radioactive substances introduced into 
the ventilation of an office building such as the WTC could create massive fatalities. The 
question is whether the terrorist group can accomplish its aims most effectively with a 
nuclear device, a conventional bomb or a biological or chemical weapon. Fortunately, 
there are very few attempts at nuclear terrorism publicly known to date. One embarrassing 
attempt, however, occurred in the Russian capital itself. Russia's powerful Atomic Energy 
Minister, Victor Mikhailov, continuously denied that nuclear materials and components 
were falling into the wrong hands. 55 However, in late 1995 Shamil Basayev, a Chechen 



53 The Sinyaki, sometimes called the third branch of the Sverlovsk mafia, after Uralmash and Central 
Gang, is based in Nizhny Tagil and Yekaterinburg. It appears to be an Islamic-influenced group, 
which maintains close contact with counterpart criminal organizations in the Caucasus, primarily in 
Chechnya, and the Central Asian States (Lee, 1997, p. 1 14). 

54 For example cesium-137, cobalt-60, and strontium-90. 

55 Mikhailov was abruptly relieved from his duties on March 2, 1998. He was succeeded by Yevgeny 
Adamov. Since Adamov recently was on Mikhailov's team that went to Teheran to meet with Iranian 
officials, his appointment cannot be seen as a positive Russian signal in terms of nonproliferation. 
Mikhailov himself is not leaving the nuclear scene altogether. When he was still minister, he 
appointed himself the main scientific adviser at Arzamas-16, one of Russia's main nuclear weapons 
design centers. According to sources, who asked not to be identified, it is likely that Mikhailov's re- 



85 



military commander, arranged the burial and the subsequent discovery of a carrier bag full 
of cesium-137 on the grounds of Izmailovsky Park, just a few blocks from MINATOM 
headquarters. 56 Although obviously this attempt was only meant to deliver a warning, it 
demonstrated that in the Post Soviet Era regional warlords are able to access nuclear 
material. 

In 1996, for a brief period, Lieutenant General Alexandr Lebed was Secretary of 
Boris Yeltsin's National Security Council. 57 Since one of his responsibilities was nuclear 
security, he ordered a check on the 132 'nuclear suitcase-bombs', that were supposed to 
be in the stockpile. Despite an intensive search, he could locate only 48. The remainder - 
84 nuclear weapons- was missing. 58 Since no one knows where they are, it cannot be 
ruled out that they might have found their way into the hands of organized crime, waiting 
for the highest bidder. (Cockburn, 1997, p. 251) 

Unfortunately, nuclear smuggling is not the only field where evidence exists that 
even the highest levels of Russian forces are involved in illegal trade of WMD technology. 
Although charges were dropped against General Anatoly Kuntsevich, a senior officer in 



placement had more to do with allegations of corruption involving uranium sales and a subsequent 
power struggle within the Russian government (New York Times, March 3-5, 1998). Arzamas- 16 is 
known as the place of origin of the super-grade plutonium seized in Tengen, Germany in 1994. 
Additionally, Mr. Mikhailov holds now the title of 'First Deputy Minister and chairman of the 
ministry's scientific council'. In an interview with Michael Gordon, New York Times' bureau 
Moscow, he said that in the future he will focus on military nuclear issues (New York Times , March 
17, 1998). 

56 The radiation exceeded Moscow's permissible levels by a factor of 310. On November 23, 1995 the 
Russian press reported that four containers of radioactive cesium-137 were missing from the 
Chelyabinsk Region (Cockburn, 1997, p.221). 

57 Yeltsin's supporters are trying to undermine Lebed's political prospects by crushing a mafia group that 
controls the aluminum industry and funds his presidential campaign (Cockburn, 1997, p.23 1). 

58 General Lebed's statement about the 'loss' of these weapons was also quoted by Rep. Ben Gilman 
(R-NY) in a Hearing of the House International Relations Committee on 'Organized Crime' on 
October 1, 1997. 



86 



charge of dismantling Russia's chemical weapons stocks, it was common knowledge that 
he had been selling the technology for advanced binary nerve gas weapons to Syria. 59 

3. The Nordex Corporation 

Set up in December 1989 in Vienna by Grigori Loutchansky, Nordex was one of 
the front companies created in the last years of the Soviet Union to generate hard currency 
for the KGB. In the last decade, Nordex spread across the globe, with offices from New 
York to Hong Kong. In Moscow, valuable partnerships emerged as well, including 
'Glavsnab', a city government enterprise, as well as two transport firms, 'Intourtrans' and 
'Intourservice' Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin personally issued orders allowing 
Nordex to export raw materials. 60 Yuri Luzhkov, who is often traded as one of the 
possible successors for President Yeltsin, also enjoyed a profitable relationship with 
Nordex. In his capacity as the mayor of Moscow, Luzhkoy controlled 'Glavsnab', the 
above mentioned city agency in partnership with Nordex, which for unexplained reasons 
transferred $23 million in cash and interest-free loans to Nordex. This provides additional 
proof for the multiple relationship between politicians and criminals for the purpose of 
personal enrichment. (Cockburn, 1997, pp. 112-13) 

German intelligence officials noted in their respective file that "Nordex is an 
example of the enrichment of criminals and politicians at the expense of an economically 
and politically weakened state", and that "...there is much evidence to suggest that 
Nordex has subsequently evolved into at least a partially criminal organization." A further 
BND report spoke of evidence that pointed to involvement in "...the international 



59 Shoko Asahara, leader of the Aum Shinri Kyo cult, claimed in court that he had bought the blueprints 
for his sarin factory from a senior defense adviser to President Yeltsin (Cockburn, 1997, p. 232). 

60 In 1992 the city of New York received an unexpected offer from Russia. The Columbus Company of 
which Nordex was a shareholder, proposed to donate a giant statue of Christopher Columbus. The 
artist of 'choice' proposed to work with a high refined form of copper that is very expensive and 
normally reserved for use in the electronics industry. Russia had a large stockpile of this material, but 
its export was forbidden. Chernomyrdin authorized the export of 30,000 tons of copper, enough to 
build at least 30 of the proposed statues. The shipment was last seen on the docks in Rotterdam 
(Cockburn, 1997, p. 112). 



87 



weapons trade as well as in narcotics and nuclear smuggling across the Baltic. "(Cockburn, 
1997, pp.110, 113-114). 

A major activity linked to Nordex is the large-scale beryllium deal of 1992-93, 
known as the 'Vilnius case'. 61 Since the export of beryllium is illegal without special 
permission, again powerful support was required. Igor Vladimirovich Rudenko, then chief 
of the Materials and Technical Supply Department of the local nuclear research institute 
operated by MTNATOM, contacted Yuri Ivanovich Alexeyev, a Yekaterinburg 
businessman and owner of Karate-Do, a Moscow based 'sports organization' with strong 
ties to organized crime. 62 Karate-Do provided for the financing of the operation with a 
volume of 30 million rubles. Rudenko, by using a MINATOM letterhead, send a phony 
purchase order to Obninsk and requested 4,000 kilograms of beryllium and nine kilograms 
of cesium to be shipped to a front company in Sverdlovsk, through which export licenses 
were duly obtained. The beryllium was shipped to a company called VEKA in Lithuania, 
and offered to an anonymous buyer in Zurich, who was willing to pay $24 million, ten 
times the market price. Thanks to police intervention, the deal never was completed. 
Although intelligence agencies never could prove the identity of the mysterious buyer in 
Zurich, they expressed the firm conviction that Nordex was heavily involved in the deal. 63 



61 Beryllium is a gray metal lighter than aluminum but stronger than steel and very valuable (about $600 
per kilo). It is used in missile inertial guidance systems and other sophisticated electronics 
applications. Additionally, beryllium is an excellent neutron reflector, enabling a bomb designer to 
produce a satisfactory explosion with far less plutonium or U-235 than otherwise needed. Beryllium 
provides a most lucrative way for any country seeking to build an efficient weapon. For example, when 
the Indians began buying large amounts of beryllium in the late 1980s, the CIA concluded that India 
was about to build more sophisticated nuclear warheads (Cockburn, 1997, p. 115). 

62 Among others to the Tsentral 'nay a (Cockburn, 1997, p. 1 16). 

63 According to unconfirmed sources, the buyer was said to represent Korean interests (George J.Weise, 
Commissioner U.S. Customs Service, Hearing before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations 
of the Committee on Governmental Affairs U.S. Senate . 104 th Congress, 2 nd Session, May 15, 1996). 

The 'Vilnius case' was taken from: Zimmermann, Tim, and Alan Cooperman, "The Russian 
Connection", U.S. News and World Report, October 23, 1995; and Cockburn, One Point Safe, 
pp. 115-16. 



88 



Nordex, however, does not only deal in nuclear materials. Trying to satisfy its 
customers Nordex also offers delivery systems. In 1994 a cargo plane of the Nordex 
Corporation, en route from North Korea to Teheran, touched down at an airport in 
Ukraine. Inside the plane were launchers for Scud missiles. Former CIA Director John 
Deutch describes Nordex as 'an organization associated with Russian criminal activity.' 
(Cockburn, 1997, pp. 115-19) 

4. Summary 

While interdicted smuggling incidents to date have been minor, nuclear trafficking 
remains a low-profile but potentially dangerous threat to international security. The record 
of thefts of weapons-usable materials from Russian facilities is disturbing, and evidence 
suggests that smuggling networks for such materials continue to spread. Given the 
existent demand in states such as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, Russia's southern tier could 
easily develop into a widespread and nearly uncontrollable transit zone for potential 
proliferators. At the same time, Russian authorities, facing a great variety of challenges 
from established organized crime groups, seem to accord relatively low priority to 
combating nuclear crime. Even if Russian mafia gangs have not entered the nuclear market 
on a large scale to date, they already have a network and organization in place that can 
move anything -including fissile material. Bureaucratic disputes further undermine the 
effectiveness of Russia's export control system. 

Economic hardships, decline of morale and discipline, and an increasing level of 
corruption in the Russian armed forces makes the access to willing insiders easy. It thus 
cannot be ruled out that parts of the nuclear arsenal or other WMD might get, or even are 
already in the hands of organized crime. 

F. CONCLUSION 

Russian organized crime, in its different metamorphoses, has been a history of 
responses by the legitimate structures to the presence of the former. In Russia's case, the 
weakness of the legitimate structures which evolved under autocratic rule accounted for 



89 



the readiness to negotiate with entities outside of the dominant system until economic 
inefficiencies led to the rapid decline of the Soviet regime, and organized crime became 
proactive. 

The political and economic aspects of contemporary organized crime constitute a 
force that undermines the political as well as the economic stability of Russia and threatens 
its continued progress towards democracy and market economics. The collusion between 
parts of the former political nomenclature and economically powerful criminal groups 
represents a new form of authoritarianism. Unlike Soviet authoritarianism, which affected 
citizens only within its borders or sphere of influence, the international reach of post- 
Soviet organized crime intimidates individuals and states outside the confines of the FSU 
as well. 

Today, an estimated 110 Russian mafia gangs operate in more than 44 countries 
worldwide. These groups are characterized by a complex structure that enables them to 
conduct sophisticated operations on an increasingly international level. Several of the 
larger organizations are already cooperating with other mafia groups such as the Yakuza, 
the Colombian Cartels, or the Italian Mafia. As criminal organizations and gangster 
bureaucrats position themselves to increase their political power and wealth, their 
busmess/criminal activities are likely to extend internationally. 

Since 1991 Europe and the U.S. have already witnessed a remarkable increase in 
Russian organized crime. According to FBI Director Louis Freeh, Russian syndicates 
conduct the most sophisticated criminal operations ever seen in the U.S. ( Washington 
Post, October 2, 1997). While most of the criminal activities encompass traditional mafia 
crimes, the exploitation of Russia's military-industrial complex adds new vistas to an 
already significant threat that can no longer be seen as a mere Russian domestic issue. 

Whereas interdicted smuggling incidents to date have been minor, nuclear 
trafficking remains a low-profile but potentially dangerous threat to international security. 
Given the existent demand in states as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, Russia's southern tier 



90 



could develop into a transit zone for potential proliferators. At the same time, Russian 
authorities seem to accord relatively low priority to combating nuclear crime. 

Additionally, an increasing level of corruption in the Russian armed forces, caused 
by economic hardships and low morale, could encourage nuclear proliferation and enable 
organized crime groups to obtain nearly every weapons technology, including the whole 
WMD spectrum. 

In a hearing before the House Committee on International Relations, held on 

October 1, 1997, FBI Director Freeh was asked if he believes the U.S. is under a greater 

threat "from nuclear detonation now than at the height of the Cold War." Freeh answered: 

If you describe that detonation as a criminal or terrorist or rogue operation, 
I think the answer would be yes. The controls that were in place for many 
of these weapons and structures [during the Cold War] don't apply to a 
terrorist, or organized criminal, or an opportunist who could get access to 
them. (U.S. Congress, Hearing, October 1, 1997) 

Although organized crime can undermine the sovereignty of a state, criminal 
organizations normally do not deliberately set out to do so. Indeed, organized crime 
prefers to ignore the country it operates in, as long as this host system does not threaten 
the criminal organization or business itself. When threatened by law enforcement, 
however, these criminal groups respond with every means available, to protect their 
operations. One possible course of action in this situation would be an alliance with 
terrorist groups. 

The next chapter will thus discuss historical examples of these alliances and outline 
possible future trends. 



91 



92 



IV. ALLIANCES AND COUNTER-STRATEGIES 

"To date this threat is becoming even more complex and difficult to counter as 
old and new bad actors take advantage of weak governments, new technologies, and 
rekindled ethnic rivalries. " 

Former Secretary of Defense, William J. Perry 64 

As the discussion in the previous chapters has shown, either of the criminal 
phenomena -postmodern terrorism and Russian organized crime- already constitutes a 
significant threat by itself. Any kind of an alliance between these is likely to 
disproportionately increase the overall threat to the national security of affected nations. 

This chapter first analyzes some historical cases of alliance between terrorist 
groups and organized crime. The chapter will subsequently develop a model for possible 
future alliances between these two pillars of non-state originated threat, and finally will 
introduce counter-strategies. 

A. EXCURSUS: NARCOTERRORISM 

Any serious attempt to identify possible alliances between organized crime and 
terrorist groups sooner or later has to consider the narco-guerrilla connection in South 
America's Andean region. 

Colombia and Peru are two major producers of illicit drugs. At the same time, both 
countries confront left-wing guerrilla movements. Since rural insurgency as well as drug 
production thrive in rugged areas where the central government is weak, the question is: 
Do drug traffickers and guerrillas simply coexist or do they collaborate? While many 
reports suggest collaboration, this marriage seems to be a tempestuous one. (Lee, 1991, 
p.155) 



64 Quoted in: The Defense Science Board 1997 Summer Study Task Force, POD Responses to 
Transnational Threats: Volume I — Final Report, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense For 
Acquisition & Technology, Washington DC, October 1997, p.57. 



93 



Since the evolution of the narco-guerrilla connection in the Colombian case offers 
a greater variety of interpretations, this subsection will focus on Colombia. It will first 
provide a brief historical background on the guerrilla movements and counter-insurgency 
attempts, and will then focus on the various aspects of narcoterrorism in Colombia. Similar 
developments within Peruvian narcoterrorism will also be discussed. While in both Latin 
American countries the narco-guerrilla connection constitutes a predominantly domestic 
security threat, the Colombian-Lebanese connection, which will be introduced later, 
suggests the existence of narco-terrorist cooperation on a transnational level. Finally, this 
subsection will discuss the salient elements of these different forms of collaboration, and 
the likely future alliances between organized crime and terrorist groups. 

1. The Colombian Connection 

Cocaine came to Colombia in the mid-1970s. Unlike Peru or Bolivia, 
Colombia has neither land suitable for coca farming nor a history of coca 
use in its indigenous culture. Only about 15 percent of the coca leaf used in 
the business is grown in Colombia. The Colombians merely process the 
paste and export cocaine. When General Augusto Pinochet's crackdown 
drove cocaine traffic from Chile, the Paisas, who had requisite business 
skills and proximity to the U.S. market, took it over. 

Pablo Escobar and Jorge Ochoa, the most important of the Medellin 
drug lords, began as two of hundreds of small-time traffickers. ..Escobar 
and Ochoa knew each other, but they did not pool their resources until 
1981, when Ochoa's sister was kidnapped. The death squad they formed to 
kill the kidnappers was the first in a series of collaborations that knitted 
them together into the Medellin Mafia. . . (Rosenberg, 1992, p.33) 

As the following section will show, however, the formation of a counter- 
insurgency movement through the build-up of death squads, is only one aspect of a most 
complex connection between drugs and terror in Colombia. 

a. Brief Historical Background of Colombia 's Guerrilla Movement 

In contrast to the usual pattern found in Latin America, Colombia has a 
long history of civilian rule and control over the armed forces. While it remained the 



94 



bearer of one of the strongest democratic traditions in Latin America, it nevertheless was 
and still is subject to recurrent bouts of political violence and terrorism. Instead of 
civilian-military conflict, Colombia experienced a long lasting violent conflict between the 
dominant political parties. 65 The climax of this conflict -La Violencia, a rampant civil war 
between the Liberals and the Conservatives- resulted in over 200,000 deaths between 
1948 and 1966. The end of La Violencia, however, brought no political peace to 
Colombia, but instead gave birth to the oldest active guerrilla groups in Latin America. 
(Hanratty, 1990, pp.xxiii-xxv; Gantiva, 1997, p.46) 

In the 1960s, three major left-wing guerrilla organizations, the 
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia {Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de 
Colombia — FARC), the National Liberation Army {Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional — 
ELN), and the Popular Liberation Army {Ejercito Popular de Liberacion — EPL), together 
with several smaller groups established bases in the Colombian countryside 66 In the 
1970s, a fourth major organization, the 19 th of April Movement (Movimiento 19 de 
Abril — M-19), commenced urban operations. (Hanratty, 1990, p.xxvi) -Table 4-1 below 
gives an overview of Colombian guerrilla groups. 



65 Colombia experienced only three military dictatorships in its history: in 1830 (for eight months 
under General Rafael Urdaneta), in 1854 (for less than a year under General Jose Maria Melo), and 
in 1953. The last military government was replaced in 1957, after elements of the armed forces had 
forced the then ruling General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla into exile (Hanratty, 1990, p.xxiii). 

66 FARC: Established in 1966 as the military wing of the Colombian Communist Party. Its goal is to 
overthrow the government and ruling class. Organized along military lines; includes 61 rural, 12 
urban fronts, and four companies. It trafficks in drugs and has well-documented ties to narco- 
traffickers (U.S. Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism — 1996 . Washington DC, 
Government Printing Office, 1997, p.64). 

ELN: Rural-based, anti-US, Maoist-Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group formed in 1963. The attempted 
peace talks with the Colombian government ended in 1992. Includes 32 rural and 11 urban fronts, 
and 3 companies. ELN specialized in periodic kidnappings of foreign employees of large 
corporations for large ransom payments, as well as in extortion and bombings against US and other 
foreign businesses (U.S. Department of State, Patterns of Global Terrorism — 1996. Washington DC, 
Government Printing Office, 1997, p.57). 



95 



Table 4-1. — Colombian Guerrilla Groups 



Group Status Tactics 



FARC Offshoot of UP party legalized in 1985; severed Rural campaigns; attacks on military 

ties later. Broke numerous peace agreements. targets; kidnappings. 

M-19 Abandoned armed struggle in 1989; Spectacular urban operations, including 

won national seats in 1990 elections attack on Palace of Justice. 

ELN Ignored 1984 peace efforts, but entered Attacks on petroleum installations 
negotiations in 1989 

EPL Participated in 1984 peace negotiations Maoist philosophy; endorses "long popular 

war." 



Source: Kevin Jack Riley, The Implications of Colombian Drug Industry and Death Squad Political Violence for U.S. 
Countemarcotics Policy, Santa Monica, RAND Corporation, 1993, p.28. 

The guerrillas sought to undermine public order through kidnappings, 
murders, robberies, assaults on military and police facilities, as well as through the 
destruction of key economic installations. Although military counter-insurgency 
operations placed the guerrillas on the defensive in the late 1960s and early 1970s, they 
regained much of their strength in the late 1970s. To counter this threat, President Julio 
Cesar Turbay Ayala employed his state of siege powers in 1978 to decree the National 
Security Statute. 67 Despite his stringent policy, Ayala did not succeed in reducing the 
scope or intensity of guerrilla operations. His successor, Belisario Betancur Cuartas, 
proposed a political rather than a military solution to the guerrilla problem. Under the 
terms of the 1984 'National Dialogue', the FARC, EPL, and M-19 signed cease-fires that 
were tailored to allow their reincorporation into national life. As a part of the peace 
process the FARC, for instance, established the Patriotic Union {Union Patriotica — UP), 
a political front which participated in national elections. But the guerrillas, who were 



67 The statute gave expanded arrest powers to the armed forces, granted military tribunals jurisdiction 
over several crimes, and subjected the media to censorship (Hanratty, 1990. p.xxvi). 



96 



allowed to keep their weapons, soon violated the cease-fire 68 The 'National Dialogue' 
ended, when M-19 commandos stormed the Palace of Justice building in Bogota on 
November 6, 1985. During the attack and in the ensuing counterattack by the army more 
than 100 people, among them 11 Colombian Supreme Court Justices, were killed. While 
the M-19 abandoned the armed struggle in the early 1990s to participate in civilian 
politics, the other major guerrilla organizations are still active. The FARC remains the 
largest guerrilla organization and has taken control of nearly the entire southern Colombia 
Despite the worldwide decline of communism, the communist insurgents of both, the 
FARC and the ELN can still muster an impressive force. Depending on the source, the 
numbers of their troops vary significantly. 69 (Hanratty, 1990, p.xxvi). 

As Table 4-2 below shows, the most significant increase in membership 
between 1978 and 1996 occurred after 1982. The reasons for this development are 
threefold. First, the armistice offered under the administration of President Betancourt 
obviously was used for reconstitution on the part of the guerrilla groups. 70 

Second, in the early 1980s, the guerrilla leaders became aware of the 
necessity of acquiring additional sources of financing, which in turn led them to seek an 
understanding with the narco-traffickers. In return for financial support granted by the 
drug-lords, guerrillas started to provide security and protection for the traffickers. Finally, 
the increased use of political violence and the appearance of right wing counter- 



68 Both sides -the military and the guerrillas- repeatedly violated the cease-fire (Hanratty, 1990, 
p.300). 

69 Whereas Table 4-2 offers a more conservative (official) of the respective development of the 
membership of these two groups, other sources speak of up to 15,000 troops of the FARC and 4,000 
guerrillas in the ELN (Deutsche Presse Agentur . December 31, 1997). 

70 A behavioral pattern that could also be found in Argentina, when guerrillas took advantage of the 
opportunities offered by the 1973 amnesty under the administration of President Hector Campora to 
establish a variety of mass fronts. For a detailed and thorough discussion of Argentina's armed 
struggle see Maria Jose Moyano, Argentina's Lost Patrol: Armed Struggle, 1969-1979, New Haven, 
Yale University Press, 1995. 



97 



insurgency groups in turn caused the left-wing guerrillas to increase their own efforts. 
(Reyes, 1996, pp.9- 11) 

Table 4-2.— Guerrilla Membership in Colombia, 1978-1996 



GROUP 


1978 


1982 


1986 


1990 


1994 


1996 


FARC 


1,200 


1,800 


4,000 


5,800 


6,800 


5,700 


ELN 


190 


230 


1,800 


2,600 


3,150 


2,500 


EPL 


100 


350 


1,400 


1,250 


550 


450 


M-19 


750 


300 


1,200 


1,200 


100 


80 


TOTAL 

Change 
(1978=100%) 


2,240 


2,680 

19.64 


8,400 

275 


9,650 

330.8 


10,600 

373.2 


8,730 

289.73 



Note: Years correspond to the beginning (end) of presidential terms. 

Source: Diego A. Gantiva, and Marco A. Palacios, "The Peace Processes of Colombia and El Salvador: A 
Comparative Study", Thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, 1997, p.54. 

Since the evolution of a right-wing counter-insurgency has been identified 
as one reason for the growth of the left-wing guerrilla movement, the following 
subsection will briefly introduce this element of political violence in Colombia. 

b. Private Counter-Insurgency — The Death Squads 

Particularly in the vast remote areas of the country the absence of effective 
protection from guerrilla crimes gave parts of the population reason to develop a counter- 
insurgency project consistent in the formation of private self-defense groups. In the late 
1970s and early 1980s, however, these groups, illegally armed, and called paramilitary by 
the guerrillas, began to modify their tactics away from defense and toward preemptive 
attacks against the guerrilla groups, eventually earning them the nickname "Death 
Squads". In the presence of large narco-trafficking organizations, many of these 
paramilitary groups eventually developed into armed organizations to defend the drug 
dealers' interests. If it is true that an alliance developed between narco-traffickers and 



98 



left-wing guerrillas, the former, most likely, must sooner or later have become subject to 
extortion by the latter. With the narco-trafficker's support of the counter-insurgency, 
however, the relationship more and more turned into an armed confrontation between both 
criminal organizations. (Gantiva and Palacios, 1997, p. 76) 

Rensselaer Lee defines the resulting pattern of violence between the 
various antagonists as "vigilantism" — establishment violence — which in the case of 
Colombia received a tremendous stimulus from the rise of the cocaine trafficking elite. The 
actual transition from self-defense from guerrilla attacks to death squad attacks against the 
rebels can be linked to the 1981 kidnapping of the sister of a drug-cartel member by M-19 
guerrillas. In response to this event and the subsequent demand for $1 million in ransom, 
223 drug lords met in Medellin in an attempt to put an end to kidnapping and extortion of 
cartel members by guerrillas. 71 The meeting resulted in the formation of the MAS — 
Muerte a Secuestradores (Death to Kidnappers) — which received an initial contribution of 
$4.5 million by the drug lords. Over the next three months, the MAS claimed responsibility 
for more than 100 assassinations in retribution for M-19's kidnapping. (Lee, 1991, 
pp. 162-63) 

The violence that emerged out of this process has particularly grown since 
the late 1980s, cutting across social, economic, and political lines. The links between the 
drug industry and death squads generally fall into one of three broad categories: finance, 
training, or logistics. (Riley, 1993, p. 26) 

Figure 4-1 below gives an overview of the total number of victims of death 
squad massacres. 



71 



The kidnapped was Marta Nieves Ochoa, sister of Jorge Ochoa of the Medellin cartel, who in turn 
called for the conclave of drug lords. Marta Ochoa was released unharmed in February 1982 (Lee, 
1991, p. 162). 



99 



Number 
of Victims 300 




1986 



170 



-No. of Massacre 
Victims 



1987 



1988 



1989 



1990 



1991 



Figure 4-1. — Victims of Death Squad Massacres, 1986-1991 

Source. Kevin Jack Riley, The Implications of Colombian Drug Industry and Death Squad Political 
Violence for U.S. Countemarcotics Policy. Santa Monica, RAND Corporation, 1993, p.28. 

Initially the purpose of death squad activity was the elimination of the 
guerrillas and their support networks. Later, however, the assassinations began targeting 
nearly everyone who opposed narco-trafficking, such as journalists, priests, members of 
the armed forces, judges, and government officials. Drug traffickers increasingly 
supplemented the death squad assassinations of government officials with their own hit 
squads. (Riley, 1993, pp.22-23) 

Table 4-3 below shows the distribution of attacks among levels of 
government for the drug industry and the death squads. 

Table 4-3. — Assassinations Among Levels of Government 



LEVEL OF TARGET 


DRUG TRAFFICKERS 


DEATH SQUADS 


National 


83% 


3% 


Departmental 


— 


10% 


Local 


17% 


87% 


Total 


100% 


100% 



Source. Kevin Jack Riley, The Implications of Colombian Drug Industry and Death Squad Political Violence for U.S. 
Countemarcotics Policy . Santa Monica, RAND Corporation, 1993, p.23. 



100 



While drug traffickers concentrate their assassinations on the national level 
and hence conduct their homicides predominantly in the larger cities, the death squads 
murders are concentrated at the local and departmental levels of government. The 
multifold pattern of political violence in Colombia, however, does not only constitute an 
attack on the political structure of the country, but also threatens to tear apart the social 
fabric of its society. In response to this threat against its national security, in 1996 
Colombia committed its armed forces to fight what today primarily is referred to as 
narcoterrorism. 

c The Colombian Narco-Guerrilla Connection 

According to Lee, evidence to date does not clearly suggest the existence 

of a narco-guerrilla connection, and to some extent even points in the opposite direction. 

As Lee writes, 

Drug dealers, especially the larger operators, hold some anti-establishment 
views, they are strongly anti-US., and they favor a more egalitarian social 
structure. However, as landowners, ranchers, and owners of industrial 
property (including cocaine laboratories), dealers are far more closely 
aligned with the traditional power structure than with the revolutionary 
left — indeed, they tend to perceive the latter as a mortal threat. (Lee, 1991, 
p. 12) 

The foundation of the death squads, and the financial support provided to 
them by the drug traffickers, support this view. The development of a narco-guerrilla 
connection, however, is a much more complex process. And in its consequences this 
evolution led to the phenomenon that is nowadays known as narcoterrorism. 

If there ever was a real alliance between drug lords and left-wing guerrillas, 
its first appearance most probably can be dated back to the period following the 
declaration of a state of siege in November 1978. For the following 16 months, President 
Turbay implemented the first major campaign against narco-trafficking and dispatched a 
12,000-man army brigade to destroy marijuana fields in the countryside and arrest 
traffickers. At the same time the navy blockaded the coastlines to cut off narcotics 



101 



shipments to the U.S. Upon assuming the presidency in 1982 Betancur adopted a 
somewhat softer policy than his predecessor. His response to the guerrilla problem was the 
opening of the 'National Dialogue'. At the same time, however, Betancur' s minister of 
justice, Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, aggressively pursued traffickers and authorized raids on the 
Medellin Cartel's principal cocaine-processing complexes. 72 Apparently in reprisal for the 
successful raid on the Tranquilandia complex, Lara Bonilla was assassinated in April 1984. 
In turn Betancur invoked his state of siege powers, declared a "war without quarter", and 
launched massive antinarcotics police operations. (Hanratty, 1990, pp. 3 08-09) 

Law enforcement pressure on the drug lords increased significantly. The 
drug cartels responded in kind. In December 1986, a hit squad of the Medellin Cartel 
traveled to Budapest and seriously wounded Enrique Parejo Gonzalez, Colombia's 
ambassador to Hungary and Bonilla's successor as minister of justice during the Betancur 
administration. One month later, gunmen employed by the cartel assassinated Attorney 
General Carlos Mauro Hoyos Jimenez and kidnapped Andres Pastrana, a candidate for 
major of Bogota and son of former President Misael Pastrana (Hanratty, 1990, pp.309). 
There are indications that during this period an initial clandestine alliance between 
guerrillas and narco-traffickers was established. Guerrilla leaders were aware of the 
necessity of acquiring additional sources of financing, which in turn led them to seek an 
alliance with the narco-traffickers. In return for financial support granted by the drug- 
lords, guerrillas started to provide security and protection for the traffickers, which was 
welcomed in times of increased antinarcotics operations. While they were benefiting from 
the cease-fire provided by the 'National Dialogue', the guerrillas were in a phase of 
reconstitution and had the resources available to provide the diversionary action desired by 
the drug traffickers. Additionally, as Martha Crenshaw points out, ". . terrorism may [also] 
serve internal organizational functions [as for example] ... morale building within the 
terrorist group..." (Crenshaw, 1981, p. 3 8 7), a function whose importance increases 
during an armistice. Although a connection between drug traffickers and guerrillas never 



72 On one occasion, authorities found clear evidence of the presence of the FARC (Lee, 1991. p. 171). 



102 



could be proven, in the case of M-19's 1985 attack on the Palace of Justice, the 
combination of place, time, and victims points to more than mere coincidence. 

Since most narco-traffickers are not revolutionaries, and hence seek to buy 
into and to manipulate the political system, but not to radically change it, it can be 
assumed that the drug lords expected the marriage with the guerrillas to lead quickly to 
divorce. Given the relative armed power of both criminal organizations, guerrillas and 
drug cartels, however, it is likely that this early alliance soon was exploited by the 
guerrillas, who saw the resources provided by the narco-traffickers as a powerful engine 
for their revolution. Thus, financial support provided by the cartels for protection soon led 
to extortion, kidnapping for ransom, and taxation on the part of the guerrillas. This 
process in turn gave birth to the private counter-insurgency outlined above. 

The process that led to contemporary narcoterrorism was fueled by 
dynamics which evolved out of the relationship itself. Guerrillas successfully tried to extort 
and tax drug traffickers. In response death squads, sponsored by the drug cartels, 
massacred guerrillas, and civilians who often found themselves in the crossfire. Whenever 
the situation demanded unity, however, both criminal organizations orchestrated their 
efforts to combat the legitimate structures. As a result, Colombia's administration faced 
two wars — one against guerrilla groups and the other against narco-traffickers. 

Figure 4-2 below shows this dynamic of violence, which is characterized 
by a reactive pattern with two intersections. In the years 1989 and 1990 drug cartels and 
related crime groups were the main agents of violence. This period marks a high of right- 
wing (paramilitary) and drug cartel related violence, predominantly expressed by killing 
UP members. 73 After 1991, guerrilla groups, particularly the FARC, increased their 
violent activities again. This development can be linked to a phase of financial 



73 Political wing of the FARC. Other political assassinations included three presidential candidates: 
Bernardo Jaramillo of the UP, the Liberal Luis Carlos Galan, and Carlos Pizarro of ADM- 19 
(Accion Democratica M-19 — Democratic Action M-19). All three homicides were reportedly 
carried out on narco-traffickers' orders (Gantiva and Palacios, 1997, p.81). 



103 



consolidation of the guerrilla movement, predominantly via an increasing involvement in 
cocaine trafficking. 74 



Number of 
Incidents 140 ° 




1341 



-Guerrillas 



- Narco-Traffick, 
Organized Crime, 
Private Justice 



1988 



1989 



1990 



1991 



Figure 4-2. — Armed Violence in Colombia, 1988-1991 

Source. Diego A. Gantiva, and Marco A. Palacios, "The Peace Processes of Colombia and El Salvador: A 
Comparative Study", Thesis. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, June 1997, p.80. 

The guerrillas' approach in this context is characterized by their attempt to 
exploit all narco-production assets in territories under their control. While initially they 
were more successful in taxing the upstream phases of the cocaine trade (cultivation and 
low-level processing) than the more lucrative downstream phases (refining and exporting), 
the FARC seems currently involved in all levels of the cocaine trafficking business. Since 
the leading trafficking syndicates apparently have the resources, the weaponry, and the will 
to protect their refining and export operations against guerrilla groups, the FARC most 
likely has created its own drug cartel. 75 (Lee, 1991, p. 13) 



74 While the FARC focused on drag trafficking, the ELN concentrated on natural resource extortion, 
particularly the petrol sector, which since 1991 has become a primary target for their terrorist 
activities (Gantiva and Palacios, 1997, p. 81). 

75 According to David Spencer, the FARC, has fully embraced narco-trafficking as its primary source 
of income. It provides security for drag laboratories, charges taxes on drags transported in and out of 
the regions its dominates, and sets up its own drag labs for processing coca paste (Jane's Intelligence 
Review. October 1997, p.475). 



104 



Table 4-4 below underlines this evolution and summarizes the taxes 
imposed by the guerrillas. 

Table 4-4. — Guerrilla Taxes on Colombian Cocaine and Heroin Industry, 1994-95 



ACTIVITY 



Cultivation 

Processing 

Export from trafficking zone 

Operation of laboratory 

Use of airstrip 

Import of chemicals into zone 

Import of gasoline i nto zone 



TAX AMOUNT 

10,000 pesos per hectare per month 

5,000 pesos per kilo produced 

20,000 to 30,000 pesos per kilo shipped 

Up to 12 million pesos per month 

10 million pesos per month 

1,000 pesos per liter 

1,000 pesos per 55-gallon drum 



Source: Patrick L. Clawson, and Rensselaer W. Lee m, The Andean Cocaine Industry , New York, St. Martin's Press, 
1996, p. 179. 

The figures in Table 4-4 amply support the view that income received from 
narco-trafficking as of the mid-1990s provides for a significant — in the case of the FARC 
for the largest — amount in guerrilla groups' revenues. Table 4-5 summarizes the total 
income of the two left-wing guerrilla groups most involved in narco-trafficking. 



Table 4-5. — Guerrilla Financing, 1994 

(Money Amounts in Millions of US-$) 





Organization 


Source 


FARC 


ELN 


Extortion 


222 


222 


Natural Resources 
Extortion 




270 


Kidnapping 


87 


106 


Budget Deviation 


51 


9 


Narco-trafficking 


575 


102 








TOTAL 


935 


709 



Source: Ruben D. Mestizo Reyes, "State Strength and Guerrilla Power: The Equilibrium between the 
Colombian Government and the Guerrilla Groups", Thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, 
December 1996, p. 37. 



105 



With international communism being largely a spent political force, 
guerrillas are abandoning their communist ideology and are more and more behaving like 
common criminals. One can argue that the FARC has indeed become a narco-terrorist 
group. 76 Under these circumstances, anti left-wing coalitions are likewise losing their 
ideological threat and momentum. Although they are still financed by dealers, narco- 
paramilitaries nowadays constitute a lesser threat than in the 1980s and early 1990s. The 
modern generation of traffickers controls powerful armed wings to protect their interests, 
and exercises even greater power by increasing its manipulation of legislators and 
government officials behind the scenes. 77 (Clawson, 1996, p. 190) 

The Colombian example of a narco-guerrilla connection thus leads to the 
conclusion that the likelihood of alliance or convergence of objectives between traffickers 
and guerrillas seems greatest when traffickers are weak, disorganized, or under severe 
pressure from the authorities. Cooperation was sought when the guerrillas could substitute 
for the cartels' weakened capability to commit terrorist acts. 78 Thus, in Colombia, where 
drug traffickers and guerrillas share the same territory, occasional alliances of convenience 
seem to be almost inevitable. (Clawson, 1996, p. 190) 



76 Thanks to this evolution and other lucrative deals with drug cartels, the FARC today is state-of-the- 
art equipped and more than a match for the Colombian forces: On October 19, 1997, FARC rebels, 
in a single clash with the counternarcotics police, shot down five helicopters (BBC — Summary of 
World Broadcasts. October 22, 1997; Source: Radio Caracol, Bogota, 1200 GMT, 20 October 1997). 
In another clash in the first week of March 1998, 70 soldiers of a Colombian elite unit were killed in 
an ambush. The 24-hour battle that took place in an unidentified "remote region that is a center of 
Colombia's cocaine trade", resulted in 30 government casualties (The Monterey County Herald 
March 6, 1998). 

77 On November 20, 1997, for example, Colonel Guillermo Rubio, Commander of Intelligence Brigade 
No 20 was removed from his post on the basis of his alleged links with drug-cartel sponsored 
paramilitary groups (BBC — Summary of World Broadcasts, November 22, 1997; Source: Inravision 
TV1, Bogota, 1730 GMT. 20 November 1997). 



78 



For example, during 1993 an intense government assault on the military arm of the Medellin cartel 
may have impelled Pablo Escobar to make tactical arrangements with guerrillas to continue his war 
against the state. Reportedly Escobar hired ELN 'urban commandos' on various occasions to place 
car bombs near government buildings. Similarly, the Colombian crackdown on the Cali cartel might 
induce some Cali leaders to commandeer guerrilla support for a new narcoterrorist campaign against 
the authorities (Clawson, 1996, p. 191). 



106 



As the Colombian example has shown, once an alliance has occurred the 
relationship's own dynamics can lead to the evolution of new criminal wings on each side 
of the coalition. From the perspective of the legitimate structures, this process gave birth 
to a criminal metamorphosis that caused the Colombian government not only to fight two 
wars — one against drug syndicates, now having a terrorist wing at their disposal, the other 
against guerrillas, now themselves involved in drug trafficking — but also to commit their 
regular armed forces to combat an internal security threat. 

2. Peruvian Narcoterrorism 

Once the center of the powerful and wealthy Inca Empire, Peru in the early and 
mid 1990s was an impoverished, crisis-prone country trying to cope with major societal, 
economic, and political changes. Although economic hardships continued to constitute a 
major concern for Peruvians, about 68 percent of the citizens polled in a 1990 survey 
identified the terrorist organization of the Maoist-oriented Communist Party of Peru- 
Shining Path {Partido Comunista del Perit-Sendero Luminoso — PCP-SL, hereafter SL) as 
the nation's most serious problem. 79 Despite a major blow to SL, caused by the capture of 
founder and leader Abimael Guzman in September 1992 and the subsequent arrests of a 
large part of its leading cadres, its terrorist capability and clandestine military structure 
remained largely intact and continued to pose a serious threat. By the end of 1992, SL's 



79 In 1991, the British newsletter Latin American Special Reports ranked Peru as the Latin American 
country with the region's highest percentage of poor (60 percent) (Hudson, 1993, p. xxxv). 

Sendero Luminoso was founded in early 1970 by then university professor Abimael Guzman in 
Ayacucho, a highland department in the southwestern Peruvian Andes, and one of the poorest and 
most underdeveloped regions in Peru. SL is considered one of the world's most ruthless guerrilla 
organizations. Its goal is to destroy existing Peruvian institutions and replace them with a peasant 
revolutionary regime. SL engages in particularly brutal forms of terrorism, including the 
indiscriminate use of bombs. It is involved in the cocaine trade. SL consists of 1,500 to 2,500 armed 
militants and a large number of supporters, mostly in rural areas. As of October 1992, women 
constituted a reported 56 percent of SL's leadership (U.S. Department of State, Patterns of Global 
Terrorism— 1996. Washington DC, Government Printing Office, 1997, pp.65-66; Hudson, 1993, 
p.xliv; Tarazona, 1990, p. 4). 



107 



terrorist campaign, which had started during Peru's democratic elections in May 1980, 
already had caused the death of a total of 28,809 people. (Hudson, 1993, p.xxxv) 

Table 4-6 below shows the numbers of fatalities caused by political violence in 
Peru between 1990 and 1992. 

Table 4-6. — Victims of Political Violence in Peru, 1990-1992 



YEAR 


NUMBER OF DEATHS 


1990 


3060 


1991 


3400 


1992 


3101 



Source. Rex A. Hudson, ed., Peru: A Country Study, Washington DC: Federal Research Division, 
Library of Congress, 1993, p.xxxv). 

By the early 1990s, more than 50 percent of the Peruvian population was living in 
"emergency military zones," where the security forces operated without accountability to 
the central government. The rural residents were caught between the fronts, exposed to 
the brutal campaigns of both sides which terrorized them for any perceived sympathy to, 
or collaboration with, the other side. While the basic SL strategy was to "win" the 
countryside, and then to "encircle" and "strangle" Lima, it has lost most of the peasant 
support it once had. In fact, legally recognized self-defense units for villages — rondas 
campensinas (peasant patrols) — began to form, similar to the ones described in Colombia. 
In the Peruvian case, however, as of 1992 these units were increasingly supported by the 
central government and not — as in the Colombian example — by drug lords. (Hudson, 
1993, pp.xxxv-xxxvii) 

Evidence of a narco-guerrilla connection in Peru has become particularly apparent 
since the capture of Guzman in September 1992, Peruvian forces were able to seize a 
variety of guerrilla records that indicate connections to the narco-traffickers. In August 
1993, for instance, an "Economic Balance of the Shining Path", dated March 1991, was 
seized. In its daily detailed information on income and expenses, it showed charges of 
$3,000 to $7,000 per flight for drug planes leaving the Upper Huallaga Valley— Peru's 



108 



center of coca cultivation and cocaine-paste manufacturing centers. After his arrest, 
Peru's most important drug trafficker, Demetrio Limoniel Chavez Penaherrera, confirmed 
that he had supplied SL with arms and had paid "taxes" of $5,000 per flight plus $3.00 per 
kilogram paste or $6.00 per kilogram base respectively. The "Red Path" faction, a splinter 
group of SL under Oscar Alberto Ramirez, is primarily financed by narco-traffickers. 
According to arrested drug traffickers and former SL members, Ramirez had collected 
$200 million by early 1994. Weapons and communications gear captured in battles against 
Ramirez's gang in November 1994 came from the drug trafficking group of Walso Vargas. 
(Clawson, 1996, p. 181) 

The drug traffickers who financed SL, however, did not seek to do so for reasons 
of any strategic alliance, but because they were too weak to resist effectively the 
guerrillas' exactions. Compared to Colombian cartels, Peruvian trafficking groups are 
relatively weak, disorganized, and dependent on the leadership, technical advice, and 
armed support of the former. Furthermore, nearly all of Peruvian cocaine base is sold to 
Colombians. Consequently, Peruvians do not obtain the value added in transporting 
cocaine to overseas markets. Additionally, because of the Colombians' domination in the 
Andean area, Peru's narco-traffickers never developed exporters associations — that is 
cartels — or a self-conscious narco-establishment. Lacking an independent organizational 
pattern, they consequently failed to develop an effective common strategy against SL. 
Whereas the trafficker-guerrilla balance of power in the Huallaga Valley clearly favored 
the SL, it cannot be forgotten that both sides shared the common strategic goal of the 
reduction of law enforcement in the area. This common objective became particularly 
apparent in periods of coca eradication programs, for example between 1983 and 1989. 
(Clawson, 1996, pp. 181-83) 

3. The Lebanese Connection 

In its 1996 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, the U.S. State 
Department stated that "Lebanon appears to have won the fight against illicit crop 
cultivation due to the joint Lebanese-Syrian eradication efforts since 1992." (Quoted in 



109 



The Washington Times , September 1, 1997) Intelligence sources, on the other hand 
indicate that the cultivation of illicit crop may not be necessary any longer, since the raw 
materials arrive in Lebanon from South America and the Far East. Cocaine hydrochloride 
and other chemicals required for wholesale production predominantly flow in from 
Colombia and Peru. Thus Lebanon, which has long been known as a major source of 
locally grown drugs, has now become a major manufacturing base for narcotics. The 
South American supply network in turn is maintained through the active participation and 
connections of Lebanese expatriates. According to Drug Enforcement Administration 
(DEA) agents, Rawi Hariri, son of wealthy Lebanese President Elias Hariri, is among the 
more prominent supply dealers. (Atlas, The Washington Times . September 1, 1997, p.21) 

While the manufacturing takes place in several dozen laboratories in Lebanon's 
Bekaa Valley, the refined drugs are shipped to the U.S. and Europe via the sea and 
airports of Beirut, the Libyan capital of Tripoli, and Sidon. DEA estimates the 1996 
turnover in the region at more than $12 billion. Of greater concern than the flow of drugs, 
however, is the fact that large amounts of the turnover are used to provide heavy financial 
support to the terrorist organization Hezbollah. 80 According to a senior Israeli intelligence 
source, "There is an unholy alliance between drug manufacturing and trafficking to the 
West, mainly the United States, and the terror organizations in Lebanon. Especially the 
Hezbollah. ..." ( The Washington Times . September 1, 1997) 

According to antinarcotics sources, Lebanon's major participation in the 
international drug trade is not new. Back in 1988, Pablo Escobar of the Medellin drug 
cartel reportedly cut a deal with Syrian military and intelligence figures. International 
antinarcotics sources speak of evidence that part of this deal involved Syria dispatching 
terrorist experts from the Talbaya and al-Marji camps in the Bekaa to South America to 



80 Hezbollah: Literally "The Party of God", created in 1982 by Iranian military intelligence. Hezbollah 
covers the whole spectrum of terrorist tactics, assassinations, bombings, hijackings, kidnappings, 
paramilitary attacks, and suicide bombings. Hezbollah is known to have training camps and maintain 
cells throughout the Middle East, the U.S. and Western Europe (The Washington Post. September 1, 
1997; for a detailed description see Hala Jaber, Hezbollah: Born with a Vengeance. New York, 
Columbia University Press, 1997). 



110 



teach sophisticated terrorist tactics to the armed wings of the drug cartels. More recently, 
however, Western intelligence has confirmed "...that the Lebanese drug trade has 
branched out to expedite an ideologically based strategy by Islamic extremists to wage a 
narcoterrorist and economic war against the United States and the West in general." ( The 
Washington Times . September 1, 1997, p.21) 

According to Colonel Reuven Erlich, deputy director of Israeli government 
activities in Lebanon, who testified before a special session of the Knesset's War against 
Drugs Committee on June 16, 1997, "Hezbollah has enough money from this [drug] 
production to maintain the organization." Colonel Erlich further declared that ". . there is a 
[definite] link between drugs and terror." ( The Washington Times . September 1, 1997, 
p.21) 

Intelligence sources in both the Middle East and the U.S. are said to be on full alert 
as fanatical and well-financed Hezbollah agents are likely to spread out across the globe to 
strike at the U.S. and its allies — foremost among them Israel — with terrorism and drugs. 
While terrorist actions against Israel seem not to be of particular strategic importance to 
Colombian or Peruvian drug cartels, the targeting of the U.S. most likely is. 

4. Implications 

As the previous discussion has shown, profiteering drug cartels with their 
tremendous financial resources provide modern weaponry and funds to ideologically 
driven terrorists. Although each side ultimately seeks different ends, in the short, and 
sometimes mid term, each benefits from the association 

As the Colombian example has shown, the likelihood of alliance or convergence of 
objectives between traffickers and guerrillas seems greatest when traffickers are weak, 
disorganized, or under severe pressure from the authorities. Cooperation was sought when 
the guerrillas could substitute for the cartels' weakened capability to commit terrorist acts. 
As the Colombian case has further shown, once an alliance has occurred the relationship's 
dynamics can lead to the evolution of new criminal wings on the side of each coalition 
partner. Narcotics traffickers have adopted terrorist tactics to maintain the flow of drugs. 



Ill 



At the same time guerrillas use drug money to fund their operations and obtain the latest 
weaponry and sophisticated technology. In Colombia, after a period of mutual massacres, 
the balance of power between drug cartels and guerrillas led to a quasi-equilibrium and 
most likely to some kind of territorial arrangements. — For the Colombian government it 
led to two different wars. 

The Peruvian case is less complex, since due to the lack of coordinated counter- 
efforts on the side of the drug traffickers, the guerrillas remained the dominant 
organization. 

More disturbing is the transnational pattern of the Lebanese connection. Here, the 
fusion of money and fanatical hatred is likely to provide for an explosive mixture. Since 
Hezbollah is not in a position to question the influence of its cartel backers, this marriage 
seems to be less complicated. — For law enforcement agencies in affected countries, 
however, it is a most dangerous one. 

In the examples introduced, the existence of different long term objectives did not 
exclude short or mid term alliances as long as they served the common goal of saturating 
law enforcement agencies involved in counter-operations. Thus, evidence exists that under 
specific circumstances organized crime and terrorists may seek alliances which otherwise 
seem unlikely. The chance of a continuous cooperation is greater if either organization can 
remain dominant, or if the partners in question are not in mutual criminal competition in 
terms of territory or business. 

B. FUTURE ALLIANCES 

As the previous discussion of the phenomenon of narcoterrorism has shown, the 
use of terror tactics by transnational criminal organizations and their links with terrorist 
and guerrilla organizations are already existing threats and give reason for concern. 

The following subsection will first discuss at an abstract level the salient elements 
that may lead to such an alliance. It will then introduce a "decision making model" that can 
be used to identify processes which may lead to similar future alliances between organized 



112 



criminal groups and terrorist organizations. Finally, this subsection will discuss the 
determining factors of possible future alliances. 

1. Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism 

Although criminal organizations, particularly when threatened by law enforcement 
or competitors, could resort to terror and develop alliances of convenience with terrorists, 
the fact remains that the two kinds of organizations have different long-term objectives. 

Transnational criminal organizations, in general, are willing or even prefer to work 
within the existing host-system as long as the latter is malleable. Insofar as organized 
crime has any identifiable political objectives, it tends to direct its efforts against specific 
law enforcement policies rather than towards the overthrow of the existing power 
structure. If possible, organized crime prefers to follow the 'soft strategy' of corruption of 
public officials. Transnational criminal organizations engage in terror simply and only to 
provide a more congenial environment for their criminal enterprises. This behavioral 
pattern, however, is likely to deteriorate and favor increasingly drastic measures if the 
criminal organization perceives its own existence is threatened. Terrorist organizations, in 
contrast, pursue political objectives that often are aimed at the overthrow of the status quo 
at either the state or the international level. If terrorist groups decide to engage in 
traditional criminal activity, such as drugs or arms trafficking, they normally do so for the 
purpose of obtaining resources which enable them to pursue more effectively their aims 
and objectives. Despite this fundamental difference between the means and ends of 
criminal and terrorist organizations, however, there may be factors which suggest a 
growing, and perhaps irreversible, trend towards convergence. (Williams, 1996, p. 25) 

First, transnational criminal organizations are increasingly resorting to terror 
tactics. Examples in this context are the Italian Mafia, Russian organized crime groups, 
and, as previously shown, Colombian cartels. All these groups have used terrorist tactics 
against the state and its representatives, and sometimes against competitors. They have 
done so to disrupt investigations, retaliate for successful law enforcement operations, to 
deter the introduction or continuation of vigorous government policies, to intimidate or 



113 



eliminate effective law enforcement officials, or to coerce judges into more lenient 
sentencing policies. All these operations had one goal in common — to create an 
environment more conducive to criminal activity. (Williams, 1996, p. 25) 

Second, transnational criminal organizations seem willing to develop direct links 
with groups that use indiscriminate violence for political ends. As the example of 
narcoterrorism in Peru has shown, the involvement of Sendero Luminoso in the cocaine 
trade made decisive government action much more difficult, and in fact paralyzed the 
government for a significant period. For SL in turn the taxing of drug trafficking provides 
for a continuous flow of financial resources for their revolutionary campaign. What thus 
developed, is described by Gabriela Tarazona-Sevillano as "...a business relationship in 
which each side uses the other to achieve its respective goals." (Tarazona, 1990, p. 100) 

A third element influencing the convergence between terrorism and transnational 
organized crime is the changed security context. In the post-cold war era, international 
terrorism has lost a significant amount of sponsorship. While state-sponsored terrorism 
still exists, it has become less important. 81 As terrorist organizations find that government 
financial support is in the decline, they seem likely to turn to organized crime as an 
alternative source of funds. Thus, as Phil Williams puts it "...deals involving weapons for 
illicit products or services are likely to become more prevalent." (Williams, 1996, p. 26; 
emphasis mine) 

The final element is technological opportunity. The theft of biological or chemical 
weapons, the availability of technological know-how through the help of willing insiders, 
the purchase of nuclear material or even weapons and its potential use for large-scale 
extortion and WMD-blackmail, are likely to make the distinction between crimes of 
extortion and terrorism more difficult (Williams, 1996, p. 26). Russian organized criminal 
groups reportedly have already been involved in nuclear trafficking The security of 
nuclear and other WMD in the FSU remains an unsolved problem. Any organized criminal 
group with access could provide a terrorist organization with a device, thus creating a 



81 See the discussion in Chapter II. 



114 



threat situation that could not be ignored by law enforcement agencies, and diverting 
investigative efforts that otherwise would have targeted their own criminal group. 

While the motives of terrorist groups and transnational criminal organizations may 
differ, the strategies they adopt to achieve their objectives seem to converge. Linkages and 
alliances of convenience between them are likely — at least in the short-term — to saturate 
law enforcement agencies. Additionally they will make both traditional law enforcement 
efforts and counter-terrorism strategies more difficult. (Williams, 1996, p. 25) 

Whereas the threat posed by organized crime is rather subtle and indirect, terrorist 
activities are perceived as more threatening to the security of affected nations. Law 
enforcement agencies could not but focus their efforts on combating the putative greater 
threat posed by terrorism. This would become a most attractive solution for organized 
criminal groups, since this situation provides for one of their major objectives — a more 
congenial environment for their enterprises. 

2. A Decision Making Model 

The developments of the recent years, particularly the increase of transnational 
organized crime that can be linked to the emergence of Russian mafia organizations on the 
international arena, lead to the assumption that organized crime, at least for the predictable 
future, is likely to remain the most powerful non-state actor. In Russia itself this has led to 
a quasi-criminal state, a situation that even is confirmed by the Russian President himself. 
On September 24, 1997 President Yeltsin reportedly said that "criminals have today 
brazenly entered the political arena and are dictating its laws, helped by corrupt 
officials." 82 (U.S. Congress, Hearing on October 1, 1997, p.81) 

From a global perspective, joint-ventures between organized crime groups are 
already in existence: Russian mafia delivers weapons to Colombian cartels in exchange for 
illicit drugs, Italian and Russian criminal organizations cooperate in arms trafficking, 



82 In 1994, Yeltsin reportedly called his country "the biggest mafia state in the world. . the superpower 
of crime that is devouring the state from top to bottom" (U.S. Congress, Hearing on October 1, 1997, 
P-81). 



115 



Colombian drug lords link up with Nigerian crime groups who provide couriers for 
European deliveries; and money laundering is based on the mutual support the various 
transnational crime groups provide to each other. Globalization, it seems, works 
predominantly to the advantage of organized crime. An alliance with terrorist 
organizations thus would only be the logical consequence of a behavioral pattern that is 
not significantly different from the strategies of legitimate corporations — diversification 
for reasons of market domination. 

The decision making model described in Figure 4-3 is based on the assumption 
that under contemporary circumstances any alliance between organized crime — hereafter 
OC — and terrorism — hereafter T — is likely to be initiated and subsequently dominated by 
the former. 83 While terrorist groups might seek an alliance with OC in search of financial 
support, the existing balance of power between the two non-state actors suggests that any 
form of cooperation has primarily to suit the objectives of OC. As long as OC's 
organizational survival or business interests are not threatened, OC prefers to ignore the 
country it operates in. In contrast to T, which sporadically makes it presence felt, OC 
tends to create a continuous pattern of activities. This continuity makes criminal 
organizations more vulnerable to law enforcement efforts. Facing a higher 'law 
enforcement risk', OC is likely to experience an increasing threat to its organizational 
survival. 84 Once this threshold is passed, OC might seek an alliance of convenience with a 
terrorist group that is able to conduct operations which in turn will temporarily constitute 
a more pressing and greater threat to the national security of the host nation(s). Given the 
vaster resources and networks of OC, it can be assumed that once an alliance has been 
formed, OC will remain the dominant partner. 



83 OC in the context of this model stands for any organized criminal organization. It thus constitutes a 
single target out of a variety of many targets. 

84 Apprehension, arrest, and conviction are the elements of the 'law enforcement risk' that criminal 
organizations face (Williams and Savona, 1996, p.47). 



116 



The following model is probabilistic and not deterministic. It does not represent the 
only conceivable set of options. In the author's opinion, however, it is the most likely one. 



Increases Investigation/Efforts 



Organized Crime 
(OC) 



Poses increasing threat to 
National Security 



OC tries to saturate 
LE 



Option 2; 

Saturation through 
orchestration of 
terrorist activities 



I 



Pathl: 
Own terrorist 
efforts 



LE 



Organization 
increasingly 
targeted by LE 



Endangers own 
organization 



I 



Option 1 : 



Saturation through 
increase of criminal 
activities 



Law Enforcement 
(LE) 



1 



Path 2: 



Support existing 
terrorist group 



Saturates LE 



Provides further 
evidence and makes 
targeting for LE 



easier 



LE tends to 
concentrate on 
more imminent 
threat (terrorist) 



Figure 4-3. — Decision Making Process 



117 



The beginning of the process is characterized by a twofold situation. First, OC is 
flourishing and thus poses an increasing threat to the national security of the affected 
nation(s). In response, law enforcement — hereafter LE — cannot but increase its efforts to 
combat OC. 85 In another likely situation, LE, responding to an already significant threat, 
increases its efforts to combat OC, which in turn, trying to compensate for subsequent 
losses, cannot but intensify its criminal activities. Since LE has no other option but to 
target and combat OC, this situation, in the context of this model, at the same time 
constitutes the dilemma for LE. 

While in developing democratic systems, as the example of Russia and other members of 
the FSU has shown, OC is likely to reach an equilibrium, or even to become proactive 
through corruption and intimidation, the situation in developed systems is favorable to LE. 
Consequently, in advanced industrial democracies, when criminal groups feel that their 
organizational survival is at risk, OC will try to saturate LE. 

At this point two options seem to be realistic. Option 1 would lead to a saturation 
of LE through an increase in their criminal activities. This strategy, however, provides 
further evidence to LE, and makes the search and targeting process for LE easier. In turn, 
LE will further increase its efforts, with a more visible target in sight. For OC this process, 
at least in developed systems, represents a no-win situation. Thus, OC is likely to favor 
Option 2, the saturation of LE through the orchestration of terrorist activities. 

Option 2 itself offers two different tracks. By following Path 1, OC would launch 
its own terrorist group. Since terrorist acts constitute the more imminent and dangerous 
threat, LE will prioritize counter-terrorism efforts. If OC were to follow this path, it 
would be increasingly targeted by LE. This development has the potential to endanger the 
survival of OC, which thus faces again a no-win situation. 

Following Path 2 in Option 2, OC decides to clandestinely task and/or support an 
existing terrorist organization. This could include the tasking of a specific operation, which 



85 LE in the context of this model is not a specific law enforcement agency of an affected nation or of a 
group of affected nations, but any agency or conglomerate of agencies tasked to combat OC. 



118 



is tailored to suit OC's (temporary) objectives. 86 A terrorist group would derive certain 
benefits from this alliance, particularly in terms of increased capabilities. But the main 
beneficiary of this alliance would be OC, at least while its sponsorship of T remains a 
secret. Increased terrorist activities, or even a single spectacular act, are likely to saturate 
LE -at least temporarily. This assumption remains realistic as long as the terrorist threat is 
kept at a high level. Any technology, including WMD, provided by OC to the terrorist 
organization in question, and the terrorist's determination and credibility to use this 
power, would in a continuous struggle be decisive for the success of OC. 87 Since for 
reasons already mentioned LE cannot but concentrate its assets and resources in the 
counter-terrorism effort, OC is in a winning situation. 

In conclusion, and from the perspective of OC, the opening of a second battlefield, 
a second front, is most likely to saturate LE. As the previous discussion has shown in such 
a situation terrorist organizations would become likely coalition partners for OC 

3. About Alliances 

It would be irresponsible to predict an alliance between specific terrorist groups 
and transnational organized crime, given the variety of organizations in existence and the 
variety of imaginable constellations. Thus, the subsequent discussion on a more abstract 
level will focus on influencing factors which are likely to favor or on the other hand to 
discourage such alliances. Since the discussion is a mere theoretical evaluation of 
probabilities, it assumes that the initial attempt to seek an alliance can be initiated by both 
types of criminal organizations -organized crime as well as terrorism. 88 



86 For example a bomb attack on LE-headquarters/LE-buildings or a computer attack on LE data banks. 

87 Credibility in this context is the product of the availability of and the will to use WMD. A single 
terrorist act thus would significantly increase the credibility of any organization that proclaims to be 
in possession of such weapons or technology. 

88 This approach does not negate the assumption of the previous section that under given circumstances 
-and most probably in the predictable future- transnational organized crime is likely to remain the 
dominant force in any relationship between these two non-state actors. 



119 



a. Supply-Demand Relationships 

As the Colombian example already has shown, supply-demand 
relationships are an important factor that favors the formation and development of 
alliances between organized crime (OC) and terrorism (T). These relationships can be 
divided into mere material supply-demand connections and in relationships (with an 
partially immaterial character, such as goods for services) where an actual exchange of 
goods does not necessarily occur. 

In the first case, for example, a limited and strictly controlled weapons 
market could cause T to approach OC. Given OC's transnational connections, it should 
not be difficult to satisfy T's weapons needs. Examples include the strict weapons control 
legislature in Japan and the subsequent attempt by Aum Shinri Kyo to buy weapons from 
the Japanese Yakuza (Kaplan, 1996, pp. 167-73). Whereas this cooperation, from the 
viewpoint of Japanese law enforcement, involves two domestic actors, similar relations 
can easily occur on a transnational level. Aum Shinri Kyo's attempt to buy weapons and 
fissile material — preferably a complete nuclear device — from the Russian mafia provides 
an example (Kaplan, 1996, pp. 190-98). 

In the second case — the immaterial supply-demand relationship — goods or 
financial support are being traded for a specific service. In the case of the Colombian 
narco-guerrilla connection, OC, in the initial phase of cooperation, subsidized the 
guerrillas in the attempt to deflect the attention of law enforcement. The guerrillas in 
response increased their activities against the state, causing the latter, at least temporarily, 
to divert its activities from OC to T. 

In this case, the service did not require an immediate pay-back. Alliances 
are imaginable in which OC provides support in the expectation that T will provide a 
future service if and when deemed necessary by OC The example of the Colombian- 
Lebanese connection would support this kind of a "sleeping strategic alliance". Hezbollah 
currently receives regular financial support in exchange for a promise to conduct terrorist 
actions on OC's behalf, if the latter should require it in the future. In such a "sleeping 



120 



alliance", any further influence by OC on the contemporary pattern of T's activities is not 
taken. 89 

b. Dominant Parmer Relationships 

The (organizational) level of development is another factor that might 
determine a possible alliance between OC and T. The basic assumption in this context is 
the development of a senior-junior partnership. If one of the organizations in question is in 
its infancy, or in decline, whereas the other is an established powerful non-state actor, a 
partnership would allow the former to flourish or at least survive. T might seek such an 
alliance to compensate for decreasing ideological support, or a lack of formerly available 
state-sponsorship which in effect leads to T's decline and might endanger the survival of 
the organization. 

As the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported, the 1997 change in 
the Iranian administration, replacing the fundamentalist government of former President 
Hashemi Rafsanjani by the more liberal (at least by Iranian standards) administration of 
Mohammed Chatami might lead to a future decrease of Iranian support for Hezbollah. 
Reportedly Kamal Charrasi, Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs, advised Hezbollah officials 
in April this year to seek parliamentary alternatives to the armed struggle ( Per Spiegel . 
April 13, 1998, pp. 136-37). Assuming Hezbollah desires to continue its struggle against 
the "Great Satan", the strategic importance of its relationship with Colombian drug cartels 
is likely to increase. 

Another example of a senior-junior relationship is the case of the Peruvian 
narco-guerrilla connection. Here it has become obvious that this kind of alliance not only 
is, but most likely will remain determined by the lack of a coherent organizational structure 
on the side of the drug traffickers. Given their organizational and military strength, SL is 
likely to remain the senior partner. 



89 With the exemption, that T is not to spoil operations of OC. 



121 



a Congruence of Motivation 

The long-term objectives of OC and T may differ significantly. Whereas 
OC generally wants to exploit the weaknesses of the host-system in its favor, and does not 
seek radical change, T's long-term objectives often envisage a radical systemic change. 
While OC's main objective, beside organizational survival, is to maximize profit, the 
motivation behind terrorism is more complex. Ethnic, religious, socio-revolutionary, 
political-ideological motivation are the most common imperatives to which terrorism 
responds. Surrogate warfare and the already mentioned redemptive single act are activities 
which can also be linked to the imperatives stated above. Again, the example of the 
Colombian narco-guerrilla connection has shown that alliances of convenience between 
OC and the socio-revolutionary type of T can actually develop. Since the motivations of 
both partners in this kind of cooperation differ rather drastically, these relationships can 
become subject to dynamics which can even lead to a clash between the two criminal 
organizations until a settlement, agreement, or equilibrium is reached. The increase of 
external threats, such as law enforcement efforts, has a cohesive effect on this kind of 
alliances. 

Criminal and psychotic terrorists constitute exceptions in this context. The 
criminal terrorist, because he responds to the same motivation as OC, namely profit; the 
psychotic type of terrorist because his behavioral pattern is not predictable and does not 
respond to rational outward motives. 

The more congruent the motivations are, the likelier an alliance between 
OC and T will be. Furthermore, the congruence of motivation has a direct impact on the 
duration of alliances. 

tl Temporary vs. Long-Term Alliances 

Confluence of interests, the struggle for organizational survival, the 
acquisition of know-how, the congruence of motivation, and the question of whether both 



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organizations are in competition, are factors that are likely to influence the duration of 
OC-T alliances. 

As for the confluence of interests the case is similar to the argumentation 
offered in the context of the supply-demand relationship. As long as interests match each 
other, the alliance is likely to continue and hence can give rise to a long-term alliance 
Again, the Colombian-Lebanese connection can serve as an example: as long as it is in the 
interest of Colombian cartels to target the US due to its support for counter-narcotic 
operations, it is likely that support for Hezbollah will continue. 

In the case of organizational survival, the weakness of one organization has 
to be matched by the strengths of the partner-organization. Thus, alliances are likely to 
end when the weaker organization has reconstituted itself. 

As for the congruence of motivation, a lack thereof is least important when 
OC and T are not in direct competition. The Colombian narco-guerrilla connection would 
be an example for a most competitive situation, whereas the Colombian-Lebanese 
connection does not carry a competitive element, and is unlikely to develop one. 90 In the 
latter case, although both organizations are acting on a transnational level, T is in no 
position to challenge OC, and most likely would not choose to do so, even if it could. 

In case of the acquisition of know-how, as, for example, training in 
terrorist methods or expansion into other fields such as cyber-terrorism, the alliance is 
likely to be a rather short-term one, since once the know-how is acquired the initial 
reason for the cooperation is no longer operative. 

c: Summary 

Any alliance between OC and T presumably will be influenced by more 
than one of the above mentioned factors. Unless one of the criminal organizations is in a 
clearly dominant position, alliances between both criminal phenomena are likely to be 



90 In the sense that both, Colombian OC and guerrillas are competing in the same business (narco- 
trafficking) and in the same, or at least adjacent territories. 



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complex in nature. Against the background of the previous discussion, the appearance of 
short- and mid-term alliances seems to be more likely than the emergence of long-term 
strategic cooperation. Alliances of convenience seem to serve the interests of both, OC 
and T, best. Nevertheless, the connection between Colombian cartels and 
religious/politically motivated organizations like Hezbollah is alarming and offers a first 
indication of a more strategic pattern of cooperation. 

4. Conclusions 

While the motives of terrorist groups and transnational criminal organizations may 
differ, the strategies they adopt to achieve their objectives seem to converge. Linkages and 
alliances of convenience between them are likely — at least in the short- and mid-term 
perspective — to saturate law enforcement agencies. Whereas the threat posed by 
organized crime is rather subtle and indirect, terrorist activities are perceived as more 
threatening to the security of affected nations. Thus law enforcement agencies could not 
but focus their efforts to combat the putative greater threat posed by terrorism. This 
would suit organized criminal groups, since this situation provides for one of their major 
objectives — a more congenial environment for their enterprises. 

Organized crime, at least for the predictable future, is likely to remain the most 
powerful non-state actor. Globalization, it seems, works predominantly in its favor. In the 
interest of global business it thus seems to be only a question of time before those criminal 
organizations begin merging and start working jointly. An alliance with terrorist 
organizations would only be the logical consequence of an already established behavioral 
pattern. Together with technology and weapons — including WMD — this kind of evolution 
could even lead to a quasi-equilibrium with the legitimate structures. 

With Communism by and large a spent political force, with the resulting lack of 
available state-sponsorship, and the decline of ideological or socio-revolutionary terrorist 
groups, a convergence between OC and T seems to be only a logical consequence for T as 
well. Given the contemporary balance of power between OC and T on the transnational 
level, OC is likely to dominate future alliances. 



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C. COUNTER STRATEGIES 91 

Contemporary transnational criminal organizations are operating in what for them 
is, in effect, a borderless world. Law enforcement, in contrast, remains significantly 
constrained by having to operate in what is still a world with frontiers. While criminals, 
terrorists, illicit drugs, weapons, and 'hot money' enjoy unprecedented mobility, law 
enforcement efforts often find their frontiers where cooperation is limited or not regulated. 
Mere procedural aspects which come along with the sovereignty of nations involved often 
tend to hamper progress that otherwise would have been possible. The international 
community, it seems, preoccupied as it was with the geopolitical bi-polarity and regional 
conflicts, has been slow to come to terms with the new challenge posed by the 
globalization of transnational organized crime and terrorism. (Williams and Savona, 1996, 
p.viii) 

The World Ministerial Conference, sponsored by the United Nations in 
Naples/Italy from 21 to 23 November 1994, was the first event to discuss the dangers 
posed by transnational organized crime and to identify various forms of international 
cooperation for its prevention and control. 92 Following its recommendations, this 
subsection focuses on the two elements which should be the pillars of any strategy that 
attempts to successfully counter the challenge of transnational crime. The first element is 
constituted by those components of national policy that are particularly useful in 
combating organized crime. The emphasis, however, lies on the second element that 
moves from the domestic realm to that of international cooperation. It underlines the 
necessity of inter-state cooperation and argues for a transnational approach to a 
transnational problem. Internal security, it seems, is no longer a mere domestic issue, can 



91 The following section follows predominantly Phil Williams and Ernesto Savona, (eds), The United 
Nations and Transnational Organized Crime. Portland, Frank Cass & Co., 1996, a collection of 
background papers that were prepared for the World Ministerial Conference on Transnational 
Organized Crime. 

92 The Conference brought together Ministers of Justice and Ministers of the Interior from 142 states 
(Williams and Savona, 1996, p.viii). 



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no longer be achieved with national efforts alone, but demands a transnational approach. 
(Williams and Savona, 1996, pp.viii-ix) 

1. National Efforts — Towards an Integrated Approach 

In the attempt to counter transnational organized criminal activities, any policy or 
strategy will have to consider both aspects, international cooperation and the efforts of the 
single nation to combat this phenomenon. 

a. Basic Concerns 

The progressive expansion of organized crime across borders, particularly 
at a time when efforts to secure economic integration and liberalize trade are being 
accentuated, makes the adoption and implementation of effective preventive and control 
measures essential. 93 A lack of such measures at the national level not only poses a threat 
to the economic development and security of that nation, but will also affect international 
cooperation to the benefit of criminal organizations. The absence of legal and regulatory 
measures against transnational organized crime reflects the difficulties faced by a large 
number of countries — particularly in those with developing systems and countries in 
transition. Because of their specific situation, and their economic potential for the future, 
these countries are primarily targeted by criminal organizations. This underlines the urgent 
need for a strengthened international cooperation and for assistance to those countries. 
(Williams and Savona, 1996, p.75) 

While a significant number of countries has made considerable progress in 
implementing substantive legislation, law enforcement methods and other measures 



93 Preventive measures are measures pursued in order to reduce the opportunities for accumulating 
profits through illicit activities, and to reduce the vulnerability of societies and governments to 
infiltration by organized crime. 

Control measures are measures designed to weaken, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations by 
prosecuting and convicting their members and tracing and confiscating the assets accumulated 
through, or used in, illicit activities. (Williams and Savona, 1996, p.43) 



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suitable to combat organized crime, there are still a number of countries that lack adequate 
legal provisions, as well as the judicial and investigative means and structures to 
successfully combat criminal organizations. The development of such methods and 
measures often encounters the limited availability of resources, which in turn makes 
prioritizing of objectives essential. It remains wishful thinking to fight all forms of crime 
with the same intensity in any particular society. A decision has to be taken on which of 
the most dangerous ones should be pursued, taking into account the limited resources 
available. In a next step, efforts by individual nations are synchronized to maximize the 
overall success. The difficulty of prioritizing objectives, however lies in determining the 
criteria for such a selection The question whether organized crime is perceived as more 
dangerous to a particular society than other forms of traditional crime, such as street 
crimes, can lead to totally different answers. The level of awareness and perception of the 
significance of a threat, for example, increases in proportion to the probability of being 
personally affected by the crime. It could be that transnational organized crime is 
perceived as less threatening than other forms of crime. Consequently, in countries where 
organized crime does not strike the public as being as violent or as damaging as it is in 
other countries, it may not be regarded as a priority. Decision-makers, who are sensitive 
to public opinion may be forced to take decisions that re-allocate resources which 
otherwise could have been used in the fight against organized crime. Furthermore, the 
existence of a global-local nexus in relation to transnational organized crime is a reality, 
and should be addressed. (Williams and Savona, 1996, pp. 75-76) 

b. Recommendations 

Following the recommendations of the United Nations, in the area of 
substantial legislation, efforts against transnational organized crime would be considerably 
strengthened through legislative reforms focused on: 

• Criminalization of participation in a criminal organization; 

• Criminalization of conspiracy or similar forms of inchoate offenses, 



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• Prohibition of the laundering of criminal profits; 

• Sanctions and other measures, such as the confiscation of goods, 
...aimed at defeating the economic power of criminal organizations. 
(Williams and Savona, 1996, p. 76) 

In regard to law enforcement activities and criminal proceedings, strategic 
measures are required in the following areas: 

• The improvement of intelligence in order to identify the organizational 
structure of criminal groups, types of activity of these groups, inter- 
relations between various groups and the means they use for self- 
perpetuation; 

• The development of investigative methods that make it possible to 
'penetrate' criminal organizations, ... the interceptions of commu- 
nications, the use of undercover operations and controlled deliveries, the 
protection of witnesses and victims, and the reward and protection for 
cooperative witnesses and accomplices; 

• The development of investigative methods and... mechanisms aimed at 
seizing and freezing illicit profits. . . . (Williams and Savona, 1996, p. 76) 

The measures stated above, however, are only likely to be successful, if 
supplemented by appropriate coordination and cooperation between agencies involved. 
Unfortunately, limited resources and the never ending struggle of 'competitive' agencies 
often lead to a counter-productive effect. On the other hand, the concentration of energies 
and resources in a specialized agency could be an innovative organizational approach only 
if this concentration truly happens. 

Supplementing, preventive strategies to counter the growing threat to the 
economy posed by organized crime, are mostly designed to preserve the stability of 
financial institutions and focus on: 



• The provision of technical and forensic training for police, prosecutors 
and judges, enabling them to understand financial operations and collect 
evidence; 

• The limitation of bank secrecy and other relevant regulations; 



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• A more active role for financial institutions in appropriate situations, for 
example in reporting suspicious transaction. (Williams and Savona, 
1996, p.77) 

The integration of these strategies, policies and measures into a concerted 
effort is a challenging but promising answer on the national level to the increasing threat 
posed by criminal organizations. 

2. International Cooperation 

As organized crime increasingly is becoming a transnational phenomenon, any 
response to it must be transnational as well. Although the degree of international 
cooperation has increased significantly in the last 20 years, organized crime always seems 
to be a step ahead. Criminal organizations have proven to be not only highly sophisticated, 
but also extremely adaptable in their efforts to exploit the existing gaps in the patterns of 
cooperation. Against this background, the international cooperation that has already 
developed needs to be strengthened, and further intensified. (Williams and Savona, 1996, 
p.80) 

a. Rationale for Cooperation 

As the example of Russia has shown, organized crime is not only becoming 
stronger and more diverse, but also engaging more and more frequently in systematic 
forms of cooperation designed to further enlarge the spectrum of their activities. In 
consequence, organized criminal groups not only extend the reach of their illicit markets, 
but also expand their capacity to infiltrate legitimate business. Their enhanced mobility, 
their capacity to exploit licit commerce for concealment of their activities, and the use of 
the global banking system to accumulate, move , and launder the revenues of their crimes, 
make it extremely difficult for any single nation to adequately respond to this threat. This 
inability of any given government acting alone to make major inroads on criminal 
organizations that operate transnationally, is the single most important factor for 
cooperation. While the unilateral enforcement efforts by a single country may lead to a 



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temporary success, they tend to do only little harm to the criminal organization in toto 

Most transnational criminal organizations tend to operate from a safe haven in home bases 

in which criminal justice systems are weaker, and corruption more effective. As Williams 

and Savona point out, 

. . these organizations [furthermore] profit from the lack of homogeneity of 
national countermeasures and have proved capable of adapting themselves 
to the different national settings and law enforcement obstacles by choosing 
the activities they can carry out more easily in different countries and by 
always being quick to transfer their activities to other countries when 
national countermeasures become more efficient. 

Even when efforts are made to compensate for the weaknesses of 
the domestic system, through extradition and subsequent prosecution in 
other countries, criminals use nationalism and sovereignty as defensive 
symbols against extradition efforts. (Williams and Savona, 1996, p.81) 

Against this background, extensive cooperation with, and assistance to, 
countries that are experiencing the most difficulties with organized criminals, and 
consequently may be used as safe havens, requires particular attention. Therefore, it is 
essential to strengthen the states with weaker criminal justice or law enforcement systems. 
The attempt to meet the challenge posed by transnational organized crime will only be 
successful, if law enforcement agencies are able to display the same mobility, the same 
ingenuity and innovation, and the same organizational flexibility as their antagonists. 
Consequently, bilateral and multilateral legal mechanisms will have to be more 
homogeneous to promise success. Only this adaptation will allow law enforcement 
officials to display the same mobility and efficiency as the criminals they pursue. (Williams 
and Savona, 1996, p. 82) 

b. Factors Hampering Cooperation 

In spite of the imperatives for cooperation, criminal law has long been a 
matter of national jurisdiction and a main expression of national sovereignty. The key 
assumption in this context is that a given state recognizes no higher legal and 
constitutional authority than itself and has a monopoly of the legitimate use of (lethal) 



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force. Furthermore, the state's duty to protect its citizens is generally taken to mean that 
citizens who transgress should be prosecuted under that state's own law. Even if another 
sovereign entity has good reason for prosecution, states are often reluctant to extradite 
their own nationals to another jurisdiction. Even if a state is willing to extradite its citizens 
in such a situation, this act may provoke violent opposition by the transnational criminal 
organization in its home base. Thus, the political relationship between states becomes an 
important factor in terms of their ability and willingness to cooperate. The more difficult 
the relationship, the more sensitive the cooperation in jurisdiction and law enforcement 
matters. Different ideologies or different levels of respect for human rights, civil liberties 
and freedom are likely to further complicate such cooperation. So far, law enforcement 
cooperation traditionally has been treated as a 'minor policy', subordinate to 'major 
policies' such as diplomatic relations or political and military alignments. The increasing 
threat from transnational organized crime, however, makes law enforcement cooperation a 
priority. (Williams and Savona, 1996, p. 84) 

A further problem exists in the varying levels of effectiveness and efficiency 
of the criminal justice systems of different states. These differences in the effectiveness of 
legal systems are in turn the weaknesses which organized crime awaits to exploit. 
Therefore, harmonization of national legislation is the premise on which the process of 
coordinating national efforts to check transnational organized crime is based. (Williams 
and Savona, 1996, p. 85) 

The basic challenge that these restrictions on cooperation pose is the 
question,"... how to control growing domains of transnational activities that either ignore 
or take advantage of national borders when the powers of the state remain powerfully 
circumscribed by the political, geographical, and legal limitations that attend notions of 
national sovereignty." (Nadelmann, 1993, p.xiv) This challenge could be met best, if 
nations recognize that continued preoccupation with the symbolism of maintaining national 
sovereignty in law enforcement efforts can lead to the opposite, a situation where 
sovereignty is systematically undermined by transnational criminal organizations. The 



131 



conclusion for affected states should be that some nominal sacrifices of sovereignty are 
likely to make transnational law enforcement efforts much more effective. (Williams and 
Savona, 1996, p. 86) 

c Factors Enhancing Cooperation 

As the previous discussion has shown, obstacles to cooperation should not 

be ignored, but overcome. Furthermore, cooperation can take place at several different 

levels and in several different ways. It can be bilateral and multilateral in scope, and it can 

be formal or informal. Whereas bilateral forms of cooperation between states with similar 

preoccupations and approaches tend to have a high payoff, high-profile bilateral 

cooperation between extremely unequal powers can lead to rejection or become unpopular 

in the weaker state. Under such circumstances it may be more expedient to opt for a 

multilateral approach than to operate bilaterally. In the words of Williams and Savona, 

A 'variable geometry' approach to cooperation, based on a thickening web 
of bilateral linkages completed by multilateral approaches that provide a 
framework of principles, has certain advantages, especially if it can be 
developed in ways that allow it to take on its own dynamism. Incremental 
forms of cooperation help to build up trust and make it possible to move to 
more comprehensive activities. To the extent that cooperative ventures are 
successful, then the inhibitions to further cooperation are likely to be 
eroded, encouraging new initiatives. (Williams and Savona, 1996, p. 87) 

Cooperation on the other hand should not be pursued at the expense of all 
other goals, particularly not at the expense of the integrity and effectiveness of national 
investigations. It thus "...should be multifaceted -and encompass such activities as 
extradition and mutual assistance, a willingness to enforce foreign judgments, and a 
readiness to transfer criminal proceedings and offenders from one jurisdiction to another." 
(Williams and Savona, 1996, p. 90) 

Additionally, it has to be recognized that cooperation is not simply a 
substantive matter, but also a procedural one. One approach to this problem is to assign a 
central authority with the task of facilitating and coordinating international cooperation 



132 



efforts, including such matters as extradition requests and the implementation of treaties 
(Williams and Savona, 1996, p. 90) 

The process of creating structures that would support such an approach 
need not to begin at ground zero. NATO, as a security alliance possesses the required 
organizational structures and an appropriate administrative apparatus. It also has resources 
at its disposal that could be most valuable in the fight against transnational organized 
crime. 94 

According to the 'Discussion Guide for the Ninth United Nations Congress on the 
Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders' cooperation should mobilize, pool 
and jointly use "...available resources, including expertise and facilities such as training 
centers, and through transfer of knowledge, information and technology to foster 
operational compatibility on a global scale." (Williams and Savona, 1996, pp.90, 105) 

While law enforcement should not become an exclusive task for the military, the 
report on "DOD Responses to Transnational Threats", provided by the Defense Science 
Board (DSB) 1997 Summer Study Task Force, clearly states that DOD could respond to 
such threats without a change in national roles and missions, and without change in its 
own organization. 

Transnational threats demand a transnational response. In such a situation, 
unconventional solutions should not be neglected. This would limit future options and is 
likely to work in favor of those criminal organizations who are successful, because they in 
turn exploit conventions that limit the operations of their opponents. 

d Recommendations 

Any kind of cooperation and counter-strategy ultimately will depend upon 
the will of governments to allocate both human and financial resources to the efforts to 
control and prevent transnational organized crime. This in turn requires recognition of the 



94 For example: Intelligence and surveillance capabilities; Command, Control, and Communication 
Structures. The most valuable 'resource', however, is the a nearly fifty-year experience in 
international cooperation and coordination of security efforts. 



133 



threat throughout national governments, and not only in ministries of justice or the 
interior. 

What thus emerges out of the previous discussion is the need for an 
enhanced and strengthened international cooperation with the main focus in the following 
areas: 

• Harmonization of legislative and other countermeasures; 

• Training and exchange of law enforcement and criminal justice 
personnel; 

• Information-sharing among relevant agencies; 

• Joint force operations [and]/or task forces, 

• Protection of witnesses, investigators, and judges; 

• Elaboration of new measures and updating of existing ones, on the basis 
of a periodic assessment of results achieved; 

• Technical cooperation and assistance in drawing up such counter 
measures; 

• Clear identification of coordinating authorities in the individual 
countries; 

• Measures to encourage the adoption and improve the implementation of 
existing cooperation arrangements. . . , 

• Effective coordination of activities at the bilateral, regional and 
multilateral levels. (Williams and Savona, 1996, p. 104) 

Considering the grave threat transnational organized crime poses to world 
security, the international community must begin to develop procedural and operational 
mechanisms to combat the problem on an adequate scale. Transnational threats can only 
be met with a transnational response. The internal security of an affected nation no longer 
ends where the sovereignty of this very nation starts. In the attempt to combat the 
transnational phenomena of organized crime and terrorism, the internal security of any 
nation affected constitutes no longer a mere domestic issue. Internal security thus requires 
a transnational dimension. 



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V. CONCLUSIONS 

"This isn 't a new problem, it is simply an old problem getting worse. Those out to 
do us harm are no longer just political zealots with a few sticks of dynamite. These are 
determined operatives, with access to very sophisticated information and technology.. . " 

Gen. John M. Shalikashvili 95 



A. MAJOR FINDINGS 

1. The Terrorists 

As the analysis has shown, terrorists of the past followed identifiable patterns in 
their choice of tactics and targets Bombs and guns were the favorite tools of traditional 
terrorist groups, with an emphasis on bombing. The bombs that were used range from high 
sophisticated devices, to crude self made types. 

While the total number of incidents in International Terrorism has declined, the 
number of casualties has risen. Terrorists have become more adapted to violence. 

As for targeting, the main discrete targets — diplomats, government officials, and 
the military — are likely to remain the same. Nevertheless, contemporary terrorism affects a 
broader spectrum of the population than it did in the past. 

Factors that influence and cause terrorism are most complex and are likely to 
become more so. Thus, predictions about future terrorist activities, and the development 
of a successful preemptive strategy remain a most challenging task. 

Since politically motivated terrorism is in decline, and religious terrorism on the 
ascendant, self-imposed constraints of the past are harder to recognize. The increasing 
number of cults, sects and groups that view the millennium in apocalyptic terms and feel 
themselves bound to hasten Armageddon should also be factored in. Terrorists, organized 



95 Quoted in: The Defense Science Board 1997 Summer Study Task Force, POD Responses to 
Transnational Threats: Volume I — Final Report. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense For 
Acquisition & Technology, Washington DC, October 1997, p. 1. 



135 



crime, fanatical single issue groups, and even individuals are able to muster know-how and 
resources that were once limited to world and regional powers. As the subway attack in 
Tokyo has shown, WMD seem to fit perfectly into the recent trends towards more 
lethality. 

The appearance of new types of terrorists from the margins makes targeting and 
preemptive measures for law enforcement agencies even more difficult. In addition, the 
old-fashioned type of terrorist has adapted, grown, and learned. Technology has proven to 
be a double-edged sword. New technologies that are coming on-line not only are of 
benefit for government and business organizations, but for terrorist and criminals as well. 
The information systems used by advanced societies and their vulnerabilities offer a new 
battlefield which is likely to be exploited by terrorists and organized crime. 

In consequence, nowadays' societies have to face the evolved, traditional terrorist 
together with the new breed described above, as they have to face old, traditional 
technologies together with the whole spectrum of WMD. 

2. The Criminals 

Russian organized crime, in its different metamorphoses, has been a history of 
responses by the legitimate structures to the presence of the former. The weakness of the 
legitimate structures accounted for the latent readiness to negotiate with entities outside of 
the dominant system. In the end, economic inefficiencies led to the rapid decline of the 
Soviet regime, and organized crime became a dominant force. 

The political and economic aspects of contemporary organized crime constitute a 
force that undermines the political as well as the economic stability of Russia and threatens 
its continued progress towards democracy and market economics. The collusion between 
parts of the former political nomenclature and economically powerful criminal groups 
represents a new form of authoritarianism with an international reach. In Russia itself it led 
to the emergence of a quasi-criminal state. 

Today, an estimated 110 Russian mafia gangs operate in more than 44 countries 
worldwide. Several of the larger organizations are already cooperating with other mafia 



136 



groups such as the Yakuza, the Colombian Cartels, or the Italian Mafia. As criminal 
organizations and gangster bureaucrats position themselves to increase their political 
power and wealth, their criminal activities are likely to further extend internationally. 

Since 1991 Europe and the U.S. have already witnessed a significant increase in 
Russian organized crime. According to the FBI, Russian syndicates conduct the most 
sophisticated criminal operations ever seen in the United States. Jim E. Moody, who 
investigated Russian organized crime for the FBI until retiring as Deputy Assistant 
Director of the criminal division last year, said that what is striking about the Russian 
organizations is that they appear to be willing to make deals with everyone (Farah, 
Washington Post . September 29, 1997). 

While most of the criminal activities encompass traditional mafia crimes, the 
exploitation of Russia's military-industrial complex adds new vistas to an already 
significant threat. Whereas interdicted smuggling incidents to date have been minor, 
nuclear trafficking remains a low-profile but potentially dangerous threat to international 
security. Given the existent demand in rogue states such as Iraq or North Korea, and 
among ruthless terrorist groups, Russia's southern tier could easily develop into a transit 
zone for potential proliferators. 

An increasing level of corruption in the Russian armed forces, caused by economic 
hardships and low morale, makes the access to willing insiders easier. This development 
not only encourages nuclear proliferation, but also enables organized crime groups to 
obtain nearly every weapons technology, including the whole WMD spectrum. Today, the 
majority of the American people find the prospect of WMD terrorism among the most 
likely and frightening outcomes of the post-cold war era. In a 1997 poll, 76 percent of 
those interviewed believed that a terrorist group will use a weapon of mass destruction on 
American soil within the next decade. 96 



96 According to a statement by Benjamin Gilman, Chairman of the Committee on International 
Relations, House of Representatives, made in a Hearing on October I, 1997. 



137 



Although organized crime can undermine the sovereignty of a state, criminal 
organizations normally do not deliberately seek to do so, at least not as long as the host 
nation does not threaten the criminal organization or business itself. When threatened by 
law enforcement, however, these criminal groups tend to respond with every means 
available. 

3. The Narcoterrorists 

As the example of narcoterrorism shows, profiteering drug cartels provide modern 
weaponry and funds to ideologically driven terrorists. Although each side ultimately seeks 
different ends, in the short-, and sometimes mid-term each benefits from the association. 
As the case of the Colombian narco-guerrilla connection has shown, once an alliance has 
occurred the relationship's dynamics can lead to the evolution of new criminal wings on 
each side of the coalition. 

Of greater concern in the transnational context is the pattern of the Colombian- 
Lebanese connection. Here, the fusion of money and fanatical hatred is likely to provide 
for an explosive mixture. 

As the example of narcoterrorism has shown, the existence of different long-term 
objectives did not exclude short- or mid-term alliances as long as they served the common 
goal of saturating law enforcement agencies. Thus, evidence exists that under specific 
circumstances organized crime and terrorists may seek alliances which otherwise seem 
unlikely. The chance of a continuous cooperation is greater if either organization can 
remain dominant, or if the partners in question are not in criminal competition in terms of 
territory or business. 

4. The Alliances 

Insofar as organized crime has any identifiable political objectives, it tends to direct 
its efforts against specific law enforcement policies rather than towards the overthrow of 
the existing power structure. It prefers to follow the 'soft strategy' of corruption of public 



138 



officials Thus, one can argue, transnational criminal organizations engage in terror simply 
and only to provide a more congenial environment for their criminal enterprises. 

Terrorist organizations, on the other hand, pursue political objectives that often are 
aimed at the overthrow of the status quo at either the state or the international level. If 
terrorist groups decide to engage in traditional criminal activity, they normally do so for 
the purpose of obtaining resources which enable them to pursue more effectively their 
aims and objectives. Despite this fundamental difference between the means and ends of 
criminal and terrorist organizations, there may be factors which suggest a growing, and 
perhaps irreversible, trend towards convergence. 

First, transnational criminal organizations are increasingly resorting to terror 
tactics. Having a single goal in common, these operations seek to create an environment 
more conducive to criminal activity. Second, transnational criminal organizations seem 
willing to develop direct links with groups that use indiscriminate violence for otherwise 
political ends. As the example of narcoterrorism in Peru has shown, the involvement of 
Sender o Luminoso made decisive government action much more difficult. 

A third element influencing the convergence between terrorism and transnational 
organized crime is the changed security context. In the post-cold war era, international 
terrorism has lost a significant amount of sponsorship. While state-sponsored terrorism 
still exists, it has become less important. As terrorist organizations find that government 
financial support is in decline, they seem likely to turn to organized crime as an alternative 
source of funds. 

Finally, the theft of biological or chemical weapons, the availability of 
technological know-how through the help of 'willing' insiders, the purchase of nuclear 
material or even weapons and its potential use for large-scale extortion and WMD- 
blackmail, are likely to make the distinction between crimes of extortion and terrorism 
more difficult. With the lack of adequate security of nuclear and other WMD in the FSU, 
Russian organized criminal groups reportedly have already been involved in nuclear 
trafficking. 



139 



While the motives of terrorist groups and transnational criminal organizations may 
differ, the strategies they adopt to achieve their objectives seem to converge. Linkages and 
alliances of convenience between them are likely to at least temporarily saturate law 
enforcement agencies. 

Whereas the threat posed by organized crime is rather subtle and indirect, terrorist 
activities are perceived as more threatening to the security of affected nations. Thus law 
enforcement agencies could not but focus their efforts on combating the putative greater 
threat posed by terrorism. This would become a most attractive solution for organized 
criminal groups, since this situation provides for one of their major objectives — a more 
congenial environment for their enterprises. 

The appearance of short- and mid-term alliances seems more likely than the 
emergence of long-term strategic cooperation. Alliances of convenience seem to serve the 
interests of both, organized crime and terrorism, best. Nevertheless, the connection 
between Colombian cartels and religious/politically motivated organizations like Hezbollah 
is alarming and offers a first indication of a more strategic pattern of cooperation. 

Organized crime, at least for the predictable future, is likely to remain the most 
powerful non-state actor. Globalization, it seems, works predominantly in its favor. An 
alliance with terrorist organizations would only be the logical consequence of an already 
established behavioral pattern. Together with technology and weapons — including 
WMD — this kind of evolution could even lead to a quasi-equilibrium with the legitimate 
structures. 

5. The Counter-Strategies 

The progressive expansion of organized crime across borders, particularly at a time 
when efforts to secure economic integration and liberalize trade are being accentuated, 
makes the adoption and implementation of effective preventive and control measures 
essential. A lack of such measures at the national level not only poses a threat to the 
economic development and security of a nation, but will also adversely affect international 
cooperation. 



140 



As organized crime has long since crossed national borders and is increasingly 
becoming a transnational phenomenon, any response to it, if it is to be effective, should be 
transnational as well. Criminal organizations in the past have proven to be not only highly 
sophisticated, but also extremely adaptable in their efforts to exploit the existing gaps in 
the patterns of cooperation. Against this background, the international cooperation that 
has already developed needs to be intensified 

As the example of Russia has shown, organized crime is not only becoming 
stronger and more diverse, but also engaging more and more frequently in systematic 
forms of cooperation designed to further enlarge the spectrum of its activities. In 
consequence, organized criminal organizations not only extend the reach of their illicit 
markets, but also expand their capacity to infiltrate legitimate business. Their enhanced 
mobility, their capacity to exploit licit commerce for concealment of their activities, and 
the use of the global banking system to accumulate, move, and launder the revenues of 
their crimes, make it extremely difficult for any single nation to adequately respond to this 
threat. 

This challenge, it seems, could be met, if nations recognized that continued 
preoccupation with the symbolism of maintaining national sovereignty in law enforcement 
efforts can be counterproductive. Nominal sacrifices of sovereignty are likely to make 
transnational law enforcement efforts much more effective. The process of creating 
structures that would support this approach is already under way. NATO, as a security 
alliance, commands the organizational structures, an appropriate administrative apparatus, 
and has resources at its disposal that could be most valuable in the fight against 
transnational organized crime. 

Any kind of cooperation and counter-strategy ultimately will depend upon the will 
of governments to allocate both human and financial resources to the efforts to control 
and prevent transnational organized crime. Considering the grave threat transnational 
organized crime poses to world security, the international community must begin to 
develop procedural and operational mechanisms to combat the problem on an adequate 



141 



scale. Transnational threats can only be met with a transnational response. The internal 
security of an affected nation no longer ends where the sovereignty of this very nation 
starts. In the attempt to combat the transnational phenomena of organized crime and 
terrorism, the internal security of any nation affected constitutes no longer a mere 
domestic issue. Internal security requires a transnational dimension. 

6. The Outlook 

It is the strong believe of this author that the emergence of alliances between 
organized crime and terrorists is no longer a question of if it's going to happen. It is 
merely a question of when it will happen. 

While the development of such future alliances not necessarily has to follow the 
decision making model introduced in this thesis, the contemporary balance of power 
between organized crime and terrorism points in this direction. 

For law enforcement agencies the conclusion should be that preemptive search 
patterns and investigations should consider the possibility of linkages between these 
criminal organizations. Combating this threat will require operational, organizational, and 
legislative measures, as well as the will of the respective decision makers to treat this 
threat for what it is -a transnational challenge to the security of the free world. 

Since freedom and liberty never have been a given, but often enough were the 
result of a an arduous struggle, they should be worth the efforts. 

B. FUTURE RESEARCH 

The challenge that is posed by the recommendation to intensify international 
cooperation, is second only to the challenge of transnational organized crime itself. 
Legislative discrepancies have to be overcome as has the rivalry between existing law 
enforcement, intelligence and military organizations. 

Future research thus could focus on the following: 

• legislative aspects with the emphasis on harmonization of legal systems, 



142 



• organizational aspects with the emphasis on developing an appropriate flexible 
structure. Governments should consider the possible use of military resources 
and/or organizational structures in future counter-strategies against 
transnational criminal organizations, following either an uni-, bi- and multi- 
lateral approach. European governments should contemplate a future role for 
NATO in this context, 

• operational aspects with the emphasis on the creation of new operational 
procedures. Governments should consider the creation of "combined joint crime 
task forces", nationally or as part of bilateral or multilateral cooperation These 
task forces could combine elements and resources from traditional law 
enforcement agencies, the intelligence community and the military. 



143 



144 



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